June 28, 2012
White Dog claimed first rights to inspect the red nylon that Steve had extracted from the box. "It is not for you," he told her as the others crowded around to see and in the process pushed Quinn to the back. "It is for Quinn." Steve parted the White Sea of Floof and gestured for The Other White Dog to come forward.
Quinn sniffed the buckles and looked at Steve questioningly. TOWD already wears a harness all of the time to assist him when he has seizures and to help him "get his feets" as his nerve receptors in his back legs increasingly seem to go numb and leave him unable to get up.
When Steve reached down and took off the comfortable orange harness, which Quinn has worn for months, everyone including Quinn shifted uneasily. Steve removed the hanger card and packaging from the new harness and held it out to Quinn for examination.
Last week when TOWD was in Dr. Julia's office for his weekly laser massage therapy, Dr. Julia told us about a harness her daughter had gotten for her senior dog. The harness was designed to be used with mountaineering gear to bring rescue dogs into avalanche areas and employs two straps around the body to distribute the weight evenly along the harness' length. The chest protector and the strapping is ultra padded and everything is adjustable in a myriad of ways. Most important, there is a "handle" built along the spine which allows you to support the dog's weight to help him stand or get through uneven terrain. Dr. Julia suggested it might be better than a regular harness for supporting him. We went home and ordered one in a striking red from REI.
Before putting on the new "jacket" and adjusting every thing, Steve brushed out our Mighty One's coat (which he hates) to make sure that there was no itchy lose hair or blowing coat puffs to mat or irritate under the harness. Then the entire White Dog Army surrounded Quinn as Steve placed the new device over and around him. TOWD stood frozen still for a moment and all of the others moved closer to sniff. Steve showed Quinn the luxury of handle help when it is needed and in no time, all of the unease was gone...