Half Way Up The Stairs

Clywedog -Dog  is getting old. The arthritis is  setting in, his beard is getting white and in true Labrador fashion, he getting very lumpy and bumpy.

In February he will be 12.

He has one love in life – above being warm and sleeping on beds, sofas and generally breaking the rules –  and that is going to my Mum and Dad’s in the car. Dog loves the car. He always has done ever since his puppy days. Actually, if he had to choose between a walk and the car, I know the car would win.

But as I said, arthritis is setting in and he has not taken very well to the wet and damp year 2012 turned out to be. Indeed, he is a very stiff dog. And as such he eyed the stairs at my parent’s with disgust and trepidation. Initially he was able to go up them without too much of a problem and if he took a bit of a run, he could launch himself down them, but after a few days, even going up became a problem.

Mother caved in, allowing him a privilege no dog in our house has ever had. The right to sleep in the lounge. The cats couldn’t believe their luck! The Open Lounge Door Policy was Manna from Heaven.

We went to bed leaving him down stairs; to all intents and purposes – asleep. What none of us had bargained for was Dog realising he was alone in a big downstairs that was dark and scary – and cat less!

Well you know cats – give them an open door policy and they’ll leave it!

So  Dog barked! Not all the time, just a single, solitary bark, as if to say: “err… hello, I’m here…”

Steve went down to sit with him and ‘dog-Dog fell asleep and began snoring. Steve crept back up stairs.  Got back into bed and yes… you guessed it… back to square one.

“err… hello, I’m here…”

Steve went down stairs and collected Dog.

In the morning we had a quivering heap of a dog. He knew he needed to be downstairs. Well when you’re a puppy of increasing years these things ARE KNOWN.  Eventually bladder needs became paramount and – shivering back legs or no – he launched himself down the stairs. It was quite a take off because he ended up in the lounge.

This state of affairs could not continue.

I enrolled Father into solving the problem. In the days before Retirement set in, he was a physio. Of some renown in the physiotherapy world. Or so I’m led to believe.   He investigated the cause of Dog’s stiff back legs. Stiff muscles. Treatment ensued. Dog licked dad and demanded cheese – or Bonio – or pigs ear as a reward for his forbearance. He’s not fussed.

Our Puppy – replete with Bonio – was back. Prancing around like a two year old. And if you have a Labrador you’ll know what that means. Chaos.

Several treatments later, dog’s movement is better.

And the stairs? I hear you ask. Is dog still launching himself off from the top stair like some daring dog of tales gone by?  No.  He has to have a security blankie (well lead) with him. But once the lead is on, he can trot down those stairs like a new dog

With no human attached!