Friday, January 7, 2011

The Things We Do for Our Pets

My poor Sunny Bunny has not been feeling so great lately. She jumped off the bed the other night and as soon as she landed on the ground, I heard a heart breaking yelp. She stopped using one of her hind legs for a couple of days, but is slowly starting to put pressure on it again. Like most dogs she is a real trooper and if it was not for the little hopping motion she makes, you would not know anything was wrong. She has an appointment to see the vet soon to make sure everything is okay.

Sunny will be twelve in April and I know that she will not always be able to jump on and off the bed like she did. But I just can't leave my little girl sleeping in a dog bed when the other animals are snuggled in our bed with us, so I decided to look for pet stairs or a ramp. The problem is that everything on the market is made for tiny dogs or just seems way to flimsy. I finally gave up the search and just decided to make it myself by adapting a design from a Los Angeles Times article.

I started with a 1/2" thick piece of plywood, a box of 1" wood screws, a drill, and a power saw. Don't you just love my make-shift work table? It's made of two plastic sets of drawers that we have had out in the garage for a while.

I cut out seven pieces - the platform, the backing piece, the end cap, the ramp, the support piece, and the two sides.

The plywood itself probably would have been sturdy enough to hold Sunny, who is about thirty-five pounds, but if I was going to take the time to make a ramp, I wanted it to support Simba too if he ever needed it. Simba is not a small dog; he weighs about ninety pounds. So I added quite a few support pieces using scrap pieces of lumber I had lying around.

Finally I covered the top of the ramp with carpet from a runner that a found on sale somewhere. It was a little too wide, but I just cut a couple inches off and used duct tape to bind the edge for now.

Eventually I will bind the edge of the carpet with actual binding, sand the edges down, and paint the plywood, but I wanted it to be available to Sunny while her leg is bothering her. Unfortunately she will not even go near it right now. I guess I will have to wait until she feels better and train her to use it.

At least the cat loves the ramp. Apparently Zooey thinks it makes the perfect scratching post and launch point for attacking the dogs.

1 comment:

Cathy said...

Impressive work!