11 February 2014


A few weeks back I mentioned our dog and the joint supplements we give her. While they do seem to help, she is 12-1/2 and a few months ago we noticed that she seemed to be having a bit more difficulty getting up the stairs when we came back from walks.

Winter only makes this more difficult, so we decided to find someone who could build us a ramp for her. I looked through some handyman-for-hire postings on craigslist and found a guy who had 30 years' experience and was based in Arlington, which is nearby. I emailed him with a description of what we wanted done and a photo of the steps. He responded and we arranged a time for him to come by to look over the area in person and take measurements.

A few days later he submitted a thorough proposal, outlining the materials he would use, how he would construct the ramp, and his price. We thought it over for a day or so and decided to go ahead. He called during my minor phone crisis a couple of weeks ago to ask if it would be okay for him to come and do the job that Saturday, so I had to wait until I got my phone working the next day to return his call.

That Saturday turned out to be one of the nice days between snowstorms. The contractor arrived right on time and set up his sawhorses and gear. I showed him where he could plug in a power cord in the basement and he set right to work. It took him less than two hours to complete the project, which I found impressive. The only thing we needed to do was add some sort of traction-providing material to the surface.

We went to the hardware store the next day, thinking we could find something with an adhesive backing, but the closest we came was some sort of tape that was only 2" wide, so we settled for rubber doormats which the Mrs. attached to the ramp with a staple gun. We then brought the dog outside and did a few practice runs with treats, to get her used to using the ramp.
Over the next couple of days we led her to the ramp after her walks. At first I picked her up and set her on the bottom of it, and she did go up the ramp fairly readily, though she seemed a bit unsure of it and sort of hopped up it at first. But she adapted to it very quickly and within another day or so she was going up the ramp without hesitation when led to the bottom. We've yet to get her to go down it again, but going down the stairs isn't as difficult for her as going up them. If she decides she needs it for going down, I think she'll know what to do.


Gramy said...

This is really great! Kudos to the handy man! I tried to picture it in my mind but now I get it! Hugs for London to use it & treats too. Gramy

Anonymous said...

Can I ask you how much this cost? Our dog is in a similar position, and I'm wondering whether it's worth it to hire someone or make it a DIY project.

Some Assembly Required said...

Anon: send me an email at someassembly (at) gmail (dot) com and I'll reply to you directly. If you are handy enough it's probably a fairly easy DIY project, but I have neither the skills nor the tools to build anything like this.