No wait, scratch that.
This is Shelly!
Shelly is 15 (approx. 90 in human years, for a doge her weight/age/breed). She old. And her poor joints - especially her knees - have been aching her something fierce this past year. At her vet's urging, she went on a diet about a month ago, and began taking supplements for her joints. It's helped quite a bit already; but the step down from the back door into the patio area was still really difficult for her. Watching my girl try and try and try, and shake, and stumble, was just too heart-breaking!
So, a few weeks ago, I rounded up some scraps from the garage - a leftover shelf board from the built-in shelf project and a couple of short 2x4s - and made my poor doge a handicap ramp. It's a very simple design - just a board on top of a 2x4 with another 2x4 under the middle for support. Here's my very detailed scale diagram, which I made during the planning process:
Both of the doges were vv heckin confuse:
After many minutes of tentative tries, first with one foot, then another - and Daisy finally just leaping over the thing - I realized that they were confused because the smooth wood was too slippery. I dropped a soft bathmat onto it (with a non-slip backing), and that solved the problem. It took Shelldog a couple of days to get used to it; now she trots up and down the ramp with ease.
Although this works great for the dogs, I've since discovered that the ramp is WAY too short to be safe for humans. The angle is far too steep. For now, it works for Shelly, and that was the point. Sometime before the warmer weather shows up, though, I'd like to replace the ramp with a much longer one, with a proper non-skid surface on top, so that neither Shelly nor I ends up on our face on the ground.