Dearest Rachel –
Well, the shipment arrived today: Chompers now has himself a wheelchair.
Unfortunately, the old boy seems to know when I do and when I don’t have the camera with me or trained on him, and doesn’t do nearly as much when I do as when I don’t. The good news is, as you can see, he doesn’t fall down, at least not backwards into whatever he might have done.
But I was a little concerned about the fact that there are two straps on his back, and no harness for his front legs. So I inverted the apparatus, and re-attached the wheels, and I think it works much better now.
Now that looks a lot better, and fits so much nicer. He still doesn’t move that much while on camera, but he doesn’t fall down, anyway. Hopefully, he can get used to this going forward… although I really think I should try and figure out how to attach a leash to it and pull him around outside.
Late night addendum: well, It still takes a little getting used to, on both our parts really. It’s a little awkward to take the apparatus outside, especially when I’m holding him in my other arm. And it takes a moment or two to slip each leg in through the loops and strap him in. But it is a darn sight better than constantly propping him up, watching him fall down after a step, and then having to prop him up again.
It’s not full proof, however. Taking him out just now, in the wee hours of the morning, he let out a full-body sneeze that sent him toppling over sidewise, training wheels (because that’s essentially what these are) and all. Shortly after that, he stepped off of the driveway onto the grass, which is decidedly lower in elevation, and toppled over sideways in the other direction. At this point, I got the impression he was deliberately trying to upset the thing.
I know, I know, that’s expecting a lot of calculated malice from the old guy. But to give him credit, he succeeded twice, after all – although both times could have been accidental. He did appear to make a third attempt to fall over, but at that point I had enough wobble warning to reach down and stop him before he could fall arse over teakettle yet again.
I don’t think he particularly likes it, but the fact of the matter is, he actually can walk a few steps if he wants to. All without falling down, even. So there’s that. It certainly saves me from bending over constantly to keep him upright. So all in all, it’s not the best $170 I’ve ever spent, but I’ve certainly spent more on the worse. And, to be fair, we’re just getting used to it. Overtime, it may prove more and more useful.
In fact, it may have gotten him some exercise, and some practice. As I’m setting him to bed right now, he’s actually wandering around the bedroom, and taking several steps before falling. He may just have build up a little more confidence, because it shows as he steps around.
Again, it’s a wait-and-see type of thing. But it seems to be making a difference right off. And for now, that’s all I can ask.
I’m sure I’ll have more on this as time passes. Until then, I’m off to bed, as I think he’s just about settled in for the night. Sweet dreams, dear princess.