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Adapting the House for Dog With Mobility Issues

When Lilly’s brain and spinal cord went kerplewy with inflammation, it greatly affected her ability to move her once-agile body. Her cognitive responses to things like verbal dog training cues are also impaired (for now), but we’ve made a few adaptations around the house to help her be where she wants to be and do what she wants to do … on her own.

For example, Lilly LOVES to nest on our bed in the master bedroom. BUT, it’s quite high off the ground. We worry about her trying (and likely failing) to jump up or jump down from the bed, so for now … we’ve moved the footrest from the reading chair.

best dog blog, champion of my heart, border collie climbing onto a bed

Step 1: Climb onto the footrest.

 

best dog blog, champion of my heart, border collie climbing onto a bed

Step 2: Use the footrest as a platform to climb onto the bed.

 

best dog blog, champion of my heart, border collie climbing onto a bed

Step 3: Relax.

You can see in both step 2 and step 3 that Lilly still doesn’t feel great. The tension in her face and the blankness behind her eyes tell a story all their own. Also, you can see here (in photos taken Friday, February 17, 2012) that her nose is still pretty crusty from the nosebleeds. Poor sweetie.

BUT, she can climb up on the bed and down by herself when she wants. That’s a huge step from a girl who was mostly confined to crate rest for her own safety much of last week.

Roxanne Hawn

Trained as a traditional journalist and based in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA, I'm a full-time freelance writer for magazines, websites, and private clients. My areas of specialty include everything in the lifestyles arena, including health and home, personal finance and other consumer interests, relationships and trends, people and business profiles ... and, of course, all things pet related. I don't just love dogs. I need them in my life. Seriously.

Dog Wheelchair - March 7, 2012

Dog socks! Love it!
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Living Large - March 1, 2012

I remember when our Hershey became elderly and blind, we had to move things for her. She would often bump into the wall and reminded us of one of those toys, just back up and try again. I hope Lilly gets her footing and everything else back soon.

Hawk aka BrownDog - February 22, 2012

Hi Y’all,

You are still being safely kept in my Human’s prayers even when we stop but don’t take time to comment. We read you constantly in our email, but don’t always take the time to simply stop and say “get well soon Lilly”.

Hawk aka BrownDog
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Amanda - February 22, 2012

Once the initial healing period has passed, the important thing is to get the dog relaxed in calm! Good luck!
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Amanda - February 22, 2012

Best way to aid any type of recovery is to let the dog relax and do what she wants to do, especially the mental side! Good luck!
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Kimberly - February 22, 2012

Hi Lilly,
My name is Lily too, but we spell it differently than you. We blog hopped over from KB & K’s blog. We’re sorry to hear about your troubles. We know how heart wrenching it is when your loved one is so sick. I just got over cervical surgery and my Mom cried for me every day for like 10 weeks. We will say BIG doxie prayers for you and will be keeping you close in our thoughts.
Hugs,
Lily Belle

Kirra - February 22, 2012

After reading on Romping and Rolling in the Rockies and KB linking to your site.

Just had to pop over and offer paws across the pond for Lilly and delighted to see modifications around the home for her.

The comfort zone of the bed is wonderful to see.
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Eileen - February 22, 2012

I hope Lilly continues to improve. She looks better than last time I visited. I love her socks 🙂
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Eileen - February 22, 2012

Hoping Lilly continues to improve. She looks better than last time I visited. Love her socks 🙂

Sierra Rose - February 21, 2012

Hi Lilly! Just over from visiting KB and K. We are thinking of you…and wishing you a path to good health.

Big hugs,
Sierra Rose

Gigi - February 21, 2012

Hi Rox and Lilly- just want to say hello and let you know I’m thinking warm fuzzy thoughts for you daily. You are all so brave and strong.

Dachshund Nola - February 21, 2012

KB sent me over. Paws crossed for your sweet girl
Dachshund Nola
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siku marie - February 21, 2012

K mentioned that Lilly was a very brave girl going through some serious sickies and we wanted to come by and leave some support and encouragement. Fight on beautiful Lilly! You and your family obviously love each other so much. Nothing is more powerful than love and hope! White Dog Army woos of healing energy and positivity.

Jed & Abby in MerryLand - February 21, 2012

We’re also visitors who learned about Lilly from KB’s blog. Lilly looks like a wonderful girl and we will keep our paws crossed that she has a full and speedy recovery.

Jed & Abby

rottrover - February 21, 2012

KB sent us over… We’ll join in the good thoughts and will cross our paws for beautiful Miss Lilly. What a scary time for all of you.

-Bart and Ruby
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Sasha - February 21, 2012

Lilly you are so beautiful. We are visiting from K and KB. I am so sorry to read of poor Lilly’s story. I hope she keeps getting better and better. I am sending some healing hugs and my friend Tweedles and I have some magic bubbles that we like to share which are full of love and comfort. I am showering you with them and hope they help, even just for a little bit.

Loveys Sasha
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Christina - February 21, 2012

Lilly is thinking deeply about ALL the wonderful things you both are doing for her, Roxanne. I’d know that look anywhere. She is so beautiful. Please let us know how we can help you. Ok?

Hugs,
Christina Bournias (!woof @nica_knows)
http://www.tinyurl.com/LIKE-nica

NCMountainwoman - February 21, 2012

I popped over from KB’s post to send heartfelt wishes for you and Lilly. Fingers and paws are crossed here in NC for your wonderful friend.
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The OP Pack - February 21, 2012

We stopped by to leave some good sibe vibes for Lilly – we know she has a long road to travel, but we hope things go well for her.

Woos – Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and Lightning
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houndstooth4 - February 21, 2012

Sometimes I think the more of those little victories they have towards getting their independence and lives back does much more than medicine! It’s such a simple adaptation, but it probably means the world to her!
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Saoirse - February 21, 2012

I “feel” the toughness of the changes for Lilly, and also the small steps forward in recovery. Thank you, Roxanne, for sharing this journey with us.

Sheryl R - February 21, 2012

Such good news that Lilly is continuing to improve. She is looking so much better. Keep up the good work Lilly (and Roxanne).

kb - February 21, 2012

I’d say that she’s making progress in the right direction. We have similar aids still around our house from our previous elderly dogs. E.g., we have a set of steps for easy access to our bed for dogs!

I hope that Lilly keeps improving. I think that she’s going to get there…
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Jen - February 21, 2012

Oh, Lilly, she does still look sad 🙁

Those socks are still super cute, though. And on the bright side, a new “trick”! Progress is being made.
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Merr - February 21, 2012

She looks so much better! I wonder if, down the line, acupuncture might also be helpful to her. Our first greyhound, a tripod, benefited greatly from it. And so did our current grey, who had a broken leg from racing and residual pain that acupuncture eliminated after only a few treatments.
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Debbie - February 21, 2012

Enabling her to successfully do what she wants to do will surely aid her recovery, both physical & mental. Go, Lilly!

Bassetmomma - February 21, 2012

It’s little things like that you do for her that will help her confidence and give her security as she gets well! 🙂
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Jane Boursaw - February 21, 2012

Well, she’s certainly *looking better than she was. Hope she’s on the mend.
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LeeAnne McAdam - February 21, 2012

Way to go Lilly and family. We’re all pulling for you! You look so stylish in your booties! Keep up the good work.

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