Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat
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23 February 2010
So, as some of you may know, I tend to be a bit of a hardcore mtn girl (high peaks + long treks through the backcountry + dogses = Happy Happy Girl). So, with the adoption of little miss Hurricane Rosie, the outings have developed some unique planning and safety challenges.
Generally, the rule is, you don't ever take a dog farther into the backcountry than you can carry them out. With big dogs, this requires a lot of creative problem solving (and a gym membership for me, whew). For last year, we picked up a jet sled which allows me to tow a tired/injured dog while skiing or snowshoeing. BUT, the caveat is that it is way too ungainly for areas with lots of talus or bare (non snow) patches.
So. Last year the little monkey was only around 50lbs, which meant that I could still take her in to those areas, I just had to be willing to carry her (baby cow style) back out when she got tired. This year, now that she is mostly done growing, we have the doubleback harness (which is burly, burly – rated for hauling your pup up rock faces burly). The issue is that for a long carry out (up to an hour), the easiest way to “shoulder the load” is to attach the harness to your pack frame and sherpa the weight. This makes it hard to keep your 'load' from wriggling and flopping around, which throws you off balance. And it's just plain uncomfortable for the pup after about 10 minutes.
Sooooooooooooo (sorry to be so long winded),
Friday I sent the following email to Ruff Wear asking about ideas for rigging out something that would fit my needs so I could feel safer taking the whole pack into the wilds.
Sent: Friday , November 19, 2010 02:24 pm PST (GMT-08:00)
Subject: Gear Need
So, alright, we are a fairly hardcore mtn dog family, we own and use your stuff on a regular basis. Well, this year I ended up adopting a 3rd dog into the pack and am now trying to figure out the best way to get the new kid out and about in the backcountry with us. You see, Rosie is a Dogue de Bordeaux (now 1 year old) who happens to be missing a front leg. Doesn't slow her down much, but presents some unique challenges for wilderness recreation.
I picked up one of your doubleback harnesses for those occasions when she has to be outright carried (steep talus slopes, etc); Now it's become more of a comfort issue. She's a 90lb pup and, in order to get her up some of my favorite peaks, it involves having to sherpa her for up to an hour at a time.
So basically, I'm trying to figure out a way to jerry-rig the doubleback to distribute the weight more evenly (think baby bjorn, but horizontal) and more comfortably for her. Any Ideas?? I've tried using a regular overnight pack and having her sit in it, but it required quite a bit of reinforcement (not to mention, I have to carry 2 backpacks if I want my gear to go). I would appreciate any thoughts on the matter. I know it's a long shot, but the little girl wants to be with her pack and I'm willing to carry the load if she's willing to go.
Thanks for your time and Happy Holidays!
PS: You guys make GREAT stuff!
And wouldn't you know it, I got an email back this morning…
Thank you for your email!
This is definitely an interesting one, and regardless, I'm stoked you're getting out there with your canine!
Although I've heard this a couple of times, people needing the double back harness for this application, it is something that I'd love to pass along to our Product Development team.
It's not something that we currently make, however I'd be happy to pass along your suggestions.
Thanks so much for taking the time to write in
Customer Service | Ruff Wear Performance Dog Gear
OHHHH I would be soooo stoked if I could get something solid rigged up for the kid.
Had to share!!
25 April 2007
Kat, you are seriously hard core! Wow! We knew you went to the mountains a lot but didn't realize the extent of your pack's adventures. Pawesome!
And yes, this is absolutely why we love Ruff Wear and stand behind their products. They have always been so responsive, innovative and very kind to us through the years.
I'm sure that the perfect Tripawds harness we all dream of is something we'll see someday, we're always nudging them toward creating one too! Maybe we could start a letter writing campaign via the forums?
Thanks for sharing.