Twenty years ago, when our own Doberman, Buddha, became suddenly paralyzed, I needed to come up with a way to carry her back end around for her while Eddie came up with a wheelchair for her. I used a LL Bean canvas firewood carrier – which was fine for a couple of days, but after a couple of weeks, I was seeing the chiropractor for my own back. Those of you who are trying to steer your dog by holding it up with a rear sling know just how wrenching this experience can be to your own anatomy.
If we were harness designers, we would have designed something just like the Helpemup Harness by Blue Dog Designs. In fact, it was one of our customers who brought this wonderful harness to our attention. This harness puts a handle over the dog’s shoulders and another one over the rump, and each section is connected in the middle by a clip. The rear section has a pelvic pad, aligning two straps that come up by the tail, and supporting the dog on its pelvic floor. Harnesses are gender specific; male harnesses have an accommodation for the male organ so that dogs can easily relieve themselves in the harness. As you can see, the shoulder handle is behind the yoke of our cart. The rear section of the harness can be used to help you lift the dog into the cart. We hear from our clients that this harness is a life-saver for helping them manage their dog – moving them around the house, getting in and out of vehicles, going up and down stairs, and stepping outside for a quick pit-stop.
Dogs with degenerative myelopathy, IVDD, spondylosis, limb amputation, and any old dog having difficulty rising due to arthritis or hip dysplasia all benefit from a harness. I use mine to carry my pitbull upstairs to take a bath – I can carry her like suitcase using both handles.
In this video, Sasha, a 13 year old Chessie who has been amputee for 11 years, enjoys both her cart and her Helpemup Harness.