Saturday, November 28, 2015

Lobo Got His Ramp

Two monumental things happened today. The first, I updated my Facebook status with a vague update...leaving my readers hanging. This is one of those Facebook thingies I despise. However, it was all in fun. My vagueness wasn't to conjure up drama or stomp on an individual. It was to simply lead up to something quite exciting. This brings us to monumental moment number two...

Lobo got his ramp.

To back it up a bit, we adopted Lobo close to 10 months ago. At the time, most of the fur on his body was gone. It was because of this we noticed was a deep, black scar that circled the ankle of his remaining hind leg. It went all the way around.

Like with most rescue pups, we only know a portion of the story. The rest, speculation. From what we observed, his single hind leg was weak. How did he obtain that scar around his ankle? We'll probably never find out. What we do know is that it hindered the mobility in his single hind leg. Lobo isn't able to go up stairs and down or jump on furniture.

Over the spring and summer we attempted to build his strength and confidence. He's two years old and he lived those 2 years with 4 legs. It's unfair to assume that he could adjust immediately to having a hind leg amputated. At one point I got down on my knees, placed both hands flat on the floor and walked on all fours. No problem at all. Then, I lifted a leg and tried doing the same thing. Not so easy.

Lobo had no problem running around the yard and playing fetch. Once in a while, he'd hobble down two stairs. However, aside from that, he still wasn't able to climb stairs. Or go down.

Within a very short period of time, we were able to decipher his language. He had a noise for when he wanted to get up onto the sofa. At first, it was far and few between. Lobo had very little interest in lounging on the sofa. Maybe three times a day. During that period, we tried various options for him so he could get up and down the sofa independently. A stool. Two low stairs. Long story short, nothing worked.

Over time, his desire to be on the sofa increased. A lot. Aside from the Pet Pillows, the sofa is another favorite go-to place for lounging and naps. In a short period of time, Lobo's request (via doggy language) to get onto the sofa increased. At least 237 times a day, he'd sit at my feet, baby (aka gray Skinneeez) hanging from his mouth, speaking.

"Mom, please lift me onto the sofa."

It's not that we got sick of halting what we were doing to lift him up or down. Not at all. We simply wanted to give Lobo a means to get up or down independently. Whenever he wanted to. Without having to run through the house to find one of us.

We realized a ramp was the only option. We took measurements and made a list of supplies needed. During a conversation with a neighbor friend of ours, Lisa mentioned she was going to build Lobo a ramp.

"Before you buy supplies, let me check what I have at home. I might have everything you need."

And, he did. After dinner, Lisa built the ramp. I assisted. During the entire process I got a little choked up. Our little guy was going to have a ramp to go up and down onto the sofa whenever he wanted. Another milestone.

It took about an hour to build. At first, he sniffed the ramp. He had no idea what it was or how to use it. Lisa used his "baby" to lure him up and down. Our sofa is about 18 inches from floor to the top of the cushion. He struggled with the incline, but he did it. And, his leg tired out quickly.

For the rest of the evening, when he wanted to get on the sofa, Lisa or I would get up and encourage him to use the ramp. We didn't lift him onto the sofa. He went up the ramp. And down. Sophie and Coco used it too.

"Come on, little brother, you can do it!"

We're hoping he'll get it and realize he can go up and down independently. It'll take some time. With continued encouragement and his brother and sister showing him the ropes of the ramp, he'll be racing up and down in no time.

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