Thought I would get to some serious work here and offer some tips on getting your home ready for a Tripawd. In the few days before surgery, my husband and I tried to think of every scenario, but there is always something you wish you knew earlier.
We have a 1956 mid-century modern home, and that means we have a lot of terrazzo. Our first thought was to make it easy for Ranger to get his footing, especially when he wasn’t feeling well. Because we have so much terrazzo, we opted to buy rug runner by the yard at Home Depot. This enabled us to have several long solid pieces, and to cut angles where needed to fit a longer piece in with something smaller. It was easy to clean, too. I could use a broom, or vacuum on the floor setting. I also have a stick vacuum that I could use on either the floor or carpet setting. I also want to add that this was cheaper than buying a boat load of area rugs, but the flexibility with the runner was perfect for us.
We do have a couple of steps going out to the yard, but those were already carpeted with outdoor carpet for the humans. We worried about Ranger negotiating those steps, but he rarely had an issue with them. I think if they are familiar with steps they will adjust.
Ranger was 72 pounds, so a rather large dog. We also thought his feeding & water dish should be elevated (I had wanted to do that anyway) to make it easier for him to keep his balance while eating or drinking. I looked at several elevated food bowls, but just didn’t find anything I liked. So, for his food, I used a small step stool and put some rubber feet on it to hold the bowl in place. For the water, I used a small storage crate I’d had for years that raised it a few inches (here I had to be careful because his sister uses the same water bowl, and she is not as big as Ranger).
When we brought him home, he was not walking. To get him in the house from the car, my husband cleared off a work cart he had in the garage and we lifted Ranger from the car to the cart and then rolled him in.
We always made sure Ranger was on a clean towel, which means I was washing towels every day, but that’s OK, right? Heck yeah.
When moving Ranger, we each grabbed an end, counted 1 – 2 – 3, and lifted him up. Remember to bend your knees and watch your back! Ranger did not walk for 9 days, so we were doing this a lot. Get your pup outside in line with his/her normal routine, whether they “go” or not. Just getting them back into their usual environment makes a huge difference.
We live in Houston, and it was late fall so we had a lot of days where we had to contend with rain and/or wet grass. I had some old plastic beach mats that I would put down so he did not get wet from the grass (especially important when keeping the wound dry). We would then put Ranger on the mat when we took him out. You could use a shower curtain, or a drop cloth for painting, or anything really that would prevent moisture from seeping through the towel. If it was actively raining, I had a big umbrella I would put over him, but I have to say he was not a big fan of it. You know how some dogs are – love the rain, but hate baths.
On his beds (yes, plural, don’t get my husband started!), I put a pee pad, then an old sheet, then the towel we carried him on. I never really needed the pee pads because he was such a good boy, but I didn’t know how much he might move around. And having the sheet on top of the pad just helped keep it in place. Yes, I washed a lot of sheets as well. Heck yeah.
Hope all this helps, and if you have other things you did to accommodate your big dog, please share!