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Thursday, September 1, 2011

God Forbid I Die

You remember our elderly dog Vegas.  This is what I come home to sometimes when I get off work at 11p.m.

It used to be much worse than it is now.  I think his advanced age has gotten him some pity from the rest of the family and a little extra care.  I used to always say that if I die, they might as well bury the dog with me because he is going to just suffer a slow, torturous death up here of starvation and dehydration.  At least down there with me, he would have some food for awhile and eventually, all the bones he would ever want to chew on.  Was that gross?  Well, at the end of last week, Vegas was having trouble with the stairs.  If you read my earlier blog, you know that he is almost 14 years old.  We live in a bi-level so unfortunately, there are stairs everywhere.  He went through a spell like this about 8 months ago but snapped out of it after a few days.  I decided to go ahead and build him a ramp to the backyard to make it easier.  With over $100 in materials, I was hoping it wouldn't turn out like his doghouse.  When he was young, we accidentally left him outside when we went to Bloomington for the day and of course a storm rolled through.  We felt bad about this so I made him a very nice doghouse.

Okay, this isn't the doghouse.  But this really is some dog's doghouse, can you believe it?  His really was very nice.  In the 10 years we had it, he went into it 1 time to retrieve a treat that I had thrown in there.  And even that took him close to an hour of convincing himself if it was even worth it to dash in there and grab it.  If a storm came up, he would look for something to just stick his head under rather than go into the doghouse.  Maybe he would have gone in the above doghouse, but he probably wouldn't get a chance because I would kick him out and live in it myself.  Well, back to the ramp.  I built it Saturday afternoon.

First board up.

Hey, jackass.  You hot?  How about moving your work area 6 feet to the right.

And it's done.  So I thought.  After tons of coaxing with treats, he started up it.  He slipped when he put his first foot on the ramp and he was done.  I put slats on it for footing and tried to lead him up it on a leash.  For someone so frail a day before, he was ferociously attacking that leash and he tried to jump over the edge.  This lead to a trip to Menards on Sunday for some modification materials.  But for now, the ramp was at least a fun toy for the neighborhood children.  Sunday afternoon, I got it done.

Now it had indoor/outdoor carpet and a larger railing to thwart any more suicide attempts.  Now let's just see if he uses it.  C'mon Vegas, time to go out.

DAMN!  It's the doghouse all over again.  I guess it's good though that he snapped out of his frailness again.  And actually, I did catch him using the ramp once today on his own without even having to hold a brontosaurus burger at the top of it for a bribe.

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