Most of the dogs we see, we visit and treat at their own home. If the dog has a mobility issue or is uncomfortable, we don’t want to add to any distress by jiggling around on a car travelling.
It also means we get to have a look around where the dog lives – not for nosiness but to pick up on any areas that could be improved on. Flooring, steps, sofas that are jumped up on, beds. Sometimes these are just missed. You live with that step down into the garden – it becomes part of the routine. But your dog has to navigate it.
Seeing things through a fresh eye can make an enormous difference. We don’t wag our fingers and go “Oooo, that’s bad” and be all judgey, we simply suggest and offer something that may be beneficial for the dog’s mobility.
Many years ago, I travelled to Portsmouth to treat a dog who was recovering from a serious illness and several vet visits. He spent his days on the sofa. His Mum said that he just doesn’t want to get off. I looked at the height of the sofa, went over and picked up a couple of the spare cushions, placed them on the floor under where the dog was laying and…lo and behold…..the dog smiled, slipped gently off the sofa, onto the cushions and walked around the house with a silly grin on his face. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to get on and off, he simply couldn’t. Simple. But without an outside suggestion, the owner couldn’t see it.
Recently I was treating a dog with rear leg issues. I was commenting on how good it was that the house had non-slippy carpets all over. But this dog likes to go upstairs with his Mum & Dad to sleep. I’m not going to be Mr Anti-Pleasure Police by saying that should be banned. Ours do and we carry them but not everyone can do that. I asked how she coped with stairs and they said fine, except for the bottom step which is in the hall – the only place with no carpet. She sometimes slips getting off, they said. I looked around, saw a lovely door mat, picked that up and put it at the bottom of the stairs. Lightbulb moment. Her Mum and Dad looked at it, looked at each other and said, in stereo “Oh yes…..”. When I went back recently, the first thing they said was “And she loves her new mat at the bottom of the stairs. No more slipping. Seems far more confident.”
Forget Love Island…this is all about creating Mobility Islands.
It’s not rocket science, but sometimes potential hazards become so familiar they are simply missed. And it’s all part of our first treatment session.