The Things We Do for our Dogs

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I was looking for a photo for Wordless Wednesday the other day and came upon this picture of Jack that I took awhile ago and haven’t used yet. He’s walking down a ramp we built off our back deck that goes down into the back yard. We built this ramp – actually it’s the second ramp we built for our dogs.


The first ramp we built was for our dog Tino when he went blind. I didn’t want him going down the steps on our deck as I was afraid he would fall and hurt himself, so we built this ramp and trained him to use it. We also ripped up our yard and put in this bark path so that he could use it as a landmark in our yard and find his way to the back door.

He used both religiously. All of our senior dogs use the ramp – almost instinctively – they just go there because it’s easier on their joints
For our dog Sally, who slept on our bed of course, we bought those portable steps for her when she could no longer could jump up onto the bed. To be honest, we bought it long before she was unable to jump up, we just didn’t want her to hurt herself. We bought a second set of steps for the sofa in the living room. I even got a big garden cart to wheel her around in when she was really lame and unable to walk with us.
When we got Becca, and uncovered all of her back and knee problems we thought we were in good shape with the ramp, but realized the pitch on it was too steep for her and she refused to use it. We called the handyman back and reworked the whole thing so the slant was not so steep and she could walk down it with ease. When she got cancer in her shoulder and couldn’t do the two steps leading out to the back door, we built another ramp inside.
We’ve purchased multiple ramps to use in the car, although I don’t have one I’m really happy with yet.
My dogs have beds in mom’s office, in dad’s office, in the living room and in the bedroom.
When we moved a few times years ago – the first criteria we looked at was the size of the yard and we passed on any number of great houses because the yard wasn’t big enough for our two dogs. Another important criteria was proximity to hiking and running trails. It had to be easy to get them out.
We ALL make accommodations for our dogs because we love them so much. Special food, special toys, dog houses, ramps, you name it, I bet one of us reading this article has done it.
Tell me about the most outlandish thing you’ve done for your dog…we’re dying to hear!


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  1. At our old house, we had built a ramp much like yours for our dog with arthritis. It came in very handy for several of our dogs later including one with severe hip displasia. I thought it was interesting that you built yours for a blind dog. We had a blind dog 9 years and he never used the ramp. He and another dog bonded and she became his leader or eyes when outside. She did not like the ramp so he refused to use it and always followed her up the steps. Go figure!
    Stacey recently posted…Looks Can Be Deceiving and So Can “Made in the USA”My Profile

  2. I love reading about the things people do for their pets. I would do all of these things as well.
    Rebekah recently posted…Sojos Simply Turkey Dog Treats Review and GiveawayMy Profile

  3. We pick our vehicles with transporting the dogs in mind. 🙂 I like the idea of a path to help a blind dog.
    2 brown dawgs recently posted…Thursday Barks And Bites–Some Times Things Don’t Work OutMy Profile

    • It worked out well – he’d go charging across the back yard barking at something and then hit the path and know where he was. We made it with bark for the scent too.
      mkob recently posted…The Things We Do for our DogsMy Profile

  4. Long before Ducky joined the family, we traded in my Blazer for an Impala. Both Golden Girls fit nicely on the back seat with room to spare. But we have no place to put Ducky’s travel crate. And right now getting a new car (even a used one) is not an option. So, we stay home with the dogs or call on our pet sitters.
    Sue recently posted…Callie’s Still on the DLMy Profile

  5. Barley is definitely spoiled, but it\’s the cat that gets me to do the really outlandish things. Soth was determined to get up on my top closet shelf where I stored all of my quilts; the doors to the closet slide and he learned how to stick his paw under the door and pull it open. Then he\’d stand on the back of a chair that rocks and turns and try to jump onto the shelf, which is about 6 feet high, and if he succeeded, he\’d toss all of the quilts onto the ground and then stretch out on the shelf. My bedroom isn\’t big enough to move the chair farther away, but I was worried he\’d get hurt if/when he missed the shelf, so instead I bought him a 6-foot tall cat tower that is just tall enough he can step off the top perch onto the shelf and put all of my quilts into a trunk. Now, any time I want to get shoes or clothes out of the closet, I have to move the massive cat tower or squeeze between the levels and stretch for it, but my cat is happy and safe up on his shelf.
    Beth recently posted…Why Do You Have A Dog?My Profile

  6. That’s one attractive ramp. And I love the path you created in the yard to make it easier for your blind dog to get around.

    We used a portable ramp to make Honey more confident getting on and off the sail boat on our vacation last week. Yes, we could carry her (as we had to once at a fuel dock) or have her jump. But the ramp gave her something regular that she understood even though every dog was different and new.

    (BTW, come by next week when I’ll be holding a giveaway for one).

    There are so many weird things I’ve done for dogs I’d have trouble listing just one.
    Pamela recently posted…Honey Sings! – Wordless WednesdayMy Profile

    • Good thinking – if at least the ramp is the same, that’s one less thing to be nervous about.
      mkob recently posted…The Things We Do for our DogsMy Profile

  7. I always think of my husband going out after the huge snowstorms and digging trench paths around the yard for the dogs.
    Bailey recently posted…Protecting the CompostMy Profile

  8. What HAVEN’T I done for our dogs. When I get up in the middle of the night, I will do a walk around to make sure the dogs are comfy. Logically I know that they’re fine, but both of us will adjust them back onto their beds, put pillows beneath heads, and when the puppies were small, J insisted on putting blankets on them.

    I schedule play dates for our pack, whenever we’re having a BBQ we make sure we have food to cook up for the dogs too. And most of the cooking that happens in the kitchen is for them.

    It’s all just part of being a dog owner.

    PS – we have a ramp for our car and steps for the sofa for when they are seniors. Yes, I’m a bit proactive.
    Kimberly Gauthier recently posted…A Healthy Dog Treat Loaded with Omega-3s #BahiaBlueMy Profile

    • I tuck my guys in too and if I wake up, I make sure I know where they are. This was tough with Tino because he liked to sleep outside…so I’d have to do an ‘eyes-on’ just so I knew where he was.
      mkob recently posted…The Things We Do for our DogsMy Profile

  9. Oh that’s so great!!!
    Thank you for sharing!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!
    Jenna,Mark “HuskyCrazed” Drady recently posted…Part 2 – Husky fun at Bedrock kennelsMy Profile

  10. I’m sending that picture to my significant other! Our deck is WAY higher than that, but maybe…. I feel so bad for poor Hobie, he either has to use the deck to “do his business” or we have to carry him out the front door, which is fewer steps, but there is no space to build a ramp. Our house and front yard are very tiny, and there are no exits from the house that do not involve stairs. We have the longest “truck ramp” you can buy attached to our front steps off the living room door. Hobie hates it! It’s metal with a rubber track and it’s very loud and no rails on the sides. Nice job on that ramp!
    Kathy recently posted…It’s June! Prepare your dog for summer fun!My Profile

  11. That is a sweet DIY ramp! You guys are handy. When searching for an apartment, dog amenities (fenced in area, proximity to park/trails, etc) were primary. If humans could also live there it happened to be a nice bonus.

  12. Time and money are Mom’s biggest investment with us all. We don’t have stairs or lifts, she still lifts us if we need assistance including 80lb Katie. She says it is a good work out. We also put up with toys all over the house since Bailie moved in. Sounds simple, but Mom is a neat freak, so it has been hard for her.
    Emma recently posted…Dog Fun, Bring out your inner child or puppy!My Profile

  13. We bought portable steps too for the Fox Terrier we had once. She never used it, she still barked like crazy when she decided to enter the bed :o( And we bought the first water bed for the Huskies as they became old, we thought it’s good for their joints and the arthritis both had. Sadly nordic dogs dislike warm places …
    easy rider recently posted…easyblog TRIVIAL THURSDAYMy Profile

  14. That ramp is beautiful and looks very expensive. Probably not a job for amateurs.
    jan recently posted…“The Offended Ones” are making the world insaneMy Profile

  15. We are currently shopping for a new car and our decision will be based on whether Bentley will be able to travel comfortably with us. It is a major concern when we are house hunting too. If Bentley isn’t happy, nobody is happy! Haha!
    M. K. Clinton recently posted…Silver Paw Pet TagsMy Profile

  16. What a great post! Thanks for this. I think everyone who loves their pets like we do, go out of our way to do things for them to make their lives even better; make them happy. For Sophie, I make sure we always have her favorite treats. We have a ritual every night before bed, where with treats by my side, I take time brushing her coat, then brushing her teeth (well, I try to do that one as quickly as I can because she doesn’t like it). On winter mornings when my husband gets up early, he covers Sophie with her baby blanket (yes, it was my now grown daughter’s!), so she won’t get cold. It’s all a demonstration of our love for her, to take care of her physically, as well as mentally. I don’t know what I WOULDN’T do for Sophie or my two kitties, Isabel and Lola. They are not only a part of our family; they are a part of our hearts.
    Jody Miller-Young recently posted…World Environment Day: Eco-Friendly Goodies for DogsMy Profile

  17. When we got Vlad, and Barkly was still being crated, we took out out the recliner behind the front passenger seat in our new RV so that we’d have room for their crates. I just stuck a rug over the area so that the holes would be covered. Now that we’re no longer crating them, the recliner is still sitting out in the big garage–just so they have more room to lay.

  18. I like what Emma said – overall time and money are the big things for me too. I haven’t built anything like a ramp for Ace or done anything specifically that I can think of. But overall, I just spend a lot of money on him so he can eat the best food, etc. (While I’m over here eating Kraft macaroni). I guess one biggie for me is all the “pet deposits” and “pet rent” payments I’ve paid over the years. I pay $55 extra per month now, which I did at a previous apartment too. And pretty much everywhere we’ve lived I had to put down a $500 pet deposit. Good grief! But he’s worth it 🙂

    We also chose our current apartment because it was so close to the dog beach. Walking distance!
    Lindsay recently posted…How to tire out your high-energy, hyper dogMy Profile

    • Luckily we own our home, so no added deposits, but lots of other $$$ being spent…vet bills are high with our seniors too 🙂
      mkob recently posted…The Things We Do for our DogsMy Profile

  19. What a beautiful post. I’m so glad there are dog lovers like us in this world, people who go above and beyond for their pets (although I would just consider it normal. LOL)

    Probably the most outlandish thing I can currently think of is I’m sleeping on a futon mattress on the floor so my dog doesn’t feel abandoned because he cannot use the bed. 😉 If he would only learn to use those stairs….LOL

    Thank you for joining the blog hop.
    Jodi recently posted…I Thought WrongMy Profile

  20. What a fun post! The craziest thing I bought for my dog Beatrice is a stroller so we could take her on trips with us and keep her out with us longer than she can walk. She is an English Bulldog and can only walk so far without getting too tired or potentially hurting her paws. The other silly thing we’ve done is to add 3 custom doggy doors to our house so she can fit through them easily with her width and short legs. Like one wasn’t enough I wanted her to have one to get to the side of the house, one to get to the backyard, and another to get in and out of my office. Yes, I am over the top. 🙂
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  21. When we built our new house we put a outside door on to our bedroom on the loft so the dogs could go outside from the bedroom in the middle of the night, with the door came 2 flights of steps on a deck
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  22. great read… I hope I will be able to do as well as you in Donna’s senior years 🙂
    weliveinaflat recently posted…Does your dog leave human things alone?My Profile

  23. Love this post. Makes me feel less like a “crazy dog mom” and more like a person that simply cares about the well-being of her dogs. I can’t even count how many trips we’ve cancelled/rescheduled because I couldn’t find a person I trusted to live with our dogs. I’m extremely particular when it comes to who can care for them. Our first dog, Kaeto, was a shelter dog with a lot of issues. I actually quit working for almost a year (the entire time he was living) so I could work with him. I was much happier getting to spend my days with him and I know he was too 🙂
    Kelsie recently posted…Pet Selfie for a CauseMy Profile

  24. Don’t even get me started on the things I do for my dogs. The most outlandish? Peeing in the yard.

    The most recent? Hubby was getting roasts for training treats. Because those are hard to get, he went couple times through the day to catch the moment they actually had them. Normally, when he comes back in the middle of the day, it means he’s coming back for the guys to take them to the farm. When he comes for any other reason and leaves, it leaves the dogs heart broken. So instead of getting the dogs all upset, I had him call me when he had it and leave it outside, without going in. I then went to fetch it. Peace preserved.
    Jana Rade recently posted…Wrap It Up: Using Soft Supports For Your DogMy Profile

  25. Ah, how sweet! I often sleep really squashed with no covers on because Del is taking up all of my space and duvet, but he looks so comfy I can’t bring myself to move him! My other half has even sat on the floor to watch TV so he could have the sofa space he he x
    Rachael recently posted…Life LatelyMy Profile

  26. Well, we kinda sorta bought a vehicle for the dogs. Before I was driving a 2-door Honda accord and it just wasn’t workin’ for those messy days at the dog park. SOOO, we got a little SUV. Was it completely for the dogs, no. But almost, haha. I must say though, having a rubber mat and trunk area where they can hang out is SO much easier (and cleaner!).
    Sarah at recently posted…6 Remedies for Dog AllergiesMy Profile

    • Absolutely…we had a sedan and with two big dogs it just didn’t work – had to get an SUV.
      mkob recently posted…SlimDoggy Sepia SaturdayMy Profile

  27. I think fencing in our yard is probably the most extreme thing we’ve done. 6 foot chain link with the large area we covered, plus paying professionals to install it, was not cheap!
    Jan K recently posted…Why I Love Summer – Sepia SaturdayMy Profile

  28. Our dogs are family. We treat them like they are our own flesh and blood and we should.

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