Thank you to guest blogger, Renee Mills, VT, CCRP, for contributing this blog post.
I have written about how the Walkin’ Lift Combo Harness has changed the harness market from a professional’s perspective, but I also want to share a more personal story from a dog mommy’s perspective! I’ve given recommendations on harnesses to hundreds of pet owners as I treated their dogs, but nothing hit home more than when I had to follow my own advice with my dog Stoney.
Hind Legs Weaken
Stoney was the love of my life and had been very active until his age finally caught up to him. When he turned 12, his hind legs started to get weaker, and he was slower to get up. Of course, when this happened, I developed a rehabilitation program for him, and we got to work!
Stoney improved for a while, but eventually I started to lose the battle. He had several areas of arthritis in his spine, which slowly began to push more on his spinal cord. I think the hardest thing for me was that I knew the disease progression and the order in which he would start to lose function of his legs.
At almost 80 pounds, I knew that I needed a better way to start helping him with his hind end, which was having the most trouble.
Support for Potty Walks & Stairs
I fitted Stoney with a Walkin’ Lift Combo Harness, and away we went.
It allowed me to help him get up, support him during potty walks, and give assistance with my front porch steps.
Walkin’ Wheels Compatible
Then the day came when he could no longer use his hind legs at all. I was devastated, to say the least. He was still so full of life and ready to continue with his daily routine. So, I fitted him with a Walkin’ Wheels rear cart. He loved to run around the front yard in his wheelchair with my kids chasing him, and it seemed to be the next step to keep him moving.
The best thing was that the Walkin’ Lift Combo Harness I was currently using for his hind end was compatible with the Walkin’ Wheels cart. I switched to the full harness system (both front and rear), left it on all day, and removed it at night. This way, I could lift his hind end up and just clip the front and rear harness into the cart.
With an 80-pound husky/shepherd mix who could only use his front end, I was experiencing first-hand how crucial it was to have a harness to help save my back!
Gift of Extended Time
Not until I lived it on a daily basis and fully understood the extended time it gave me with my heart dog Stoney, did I earn a new respect for the Walkin’ Lift Combo Harness, as well as the Walkin’ Wheels dog wheelchair.