On Sunday of this weekend I was at PIJAC which is a Pet Trade Show in Mississauga, ON. While there, I saw four people with dogs in strollers ...
The first was a dog who was barking and lunging at people as they walked by. When asked, the lady replied that her dog was 3 y/o.
The second was a lady with three Chi's in the stroller and one on a leash outside the stroller. All of these dogs were dressed up in clothing. I did not stop to speak with her. They were crawling all over each other trying to get out but they were strapped in so they couldn't.
The third had two Shih Tzus (or Shih-mixes). These dogs were nice and quiet until a dog on a leash walked by ... then all hell broke loose!! The stroller dogs were leaping at the dog on the leash without regard for the plastic cover, which was the only barrier between the dogs. I shudder to think what would have happened to that poor, goofy St. Bernard if those Shih Tzus had broken through the plastic.
This comment stuck out for me from yesterday's post ... the only people that think using a dog stroller is silly, are those that have not had an older dog or a disabled dog in their lives
Well, I think a stroller is silly and I have had older dogs who have age related disabilities (unable to walk/move around, etc). I stated in my reply that there are many other ways to assist an older dog with arthritis that does not affect the ability of the dog to interact with the rest of the world, nor do they affect the ability of the dog to be a dog.
Do you realize that all of my dogs get old too?? My last dog lived until she was 15; the one before that was 18 when she died. Neither of them spent any time in a stroller but each of them had medical problems. One couldn't walk well (would lose her balance and fall over - often required our assistance to get up and move around) and was on heart medications for years. One had tumors that affected her walking (though we weren't able to remove them) so walking and running was difficult and painful for her - that didn't stop her.
Instead, I changed the way I cared for my older dogs - I did not expect them to take super-long walks with me; instead they were taken for multiple short walks. They spent time with the family but we brought dog beds wherever we took our older gals just in case they needed a rest. When our dogs get old, we need to change the way we care for them. They need special food and special treatment. They soak up the extra love. Sometimes they get scared when their hearing goes or when their vision is impaired by cataracts.
Perhaps I will write a post about care of older dogs in the near future. I think people don't realize that caring for an older dog is different than caring for a younger one. Just buy them the senior dog food, right? Well ... that's a good place to start but definitely not where it ends.