Taking the dogs for a stroll in the stroller for vitality
WHAT do you do when your aging dog can't make it for his daily walk but yearns to go outside to sniff the air, the trees and the lampposts, and enjoy what is left of his life?
Buy him a second hand pram, make a few adjustments, pop him and hit the streets.
Busy Brisbane food bloggers, Kerry Heaney loves Tucker, her 13-year-old welsh pembroke corgi, and had to watch on in helpless despair as he tried in vain to take his daily walk but could barely make it to front gate.
"He is a long and low dog, like a barrel," she said. "He can still walk but not very far at all and if he does go out for a walk, he suffers.
"He has mobility problems. He is a disabled dog."
Because Kerry has another dog, Bella, a two and a half year old cavalier cocker spaniel that needs a daily walk, it meant she had to leave poor old disabled Tucker at home when they walked the Brisbane streets.
"Tucker was getting very sad faced," Kerry said. "I hated leaving him at home when I took Bella out. When he was younger he loved coming out, took every chance to rush out with me. Now I felt guilty leaving him when I went out with Bella. And he was getting cranky."
Fortunately, on a recent visit to Japan, Kerry had seen many people out walking their elderly dogs in prams and felt inspired, even though it would be an uncommon sight on Brisbane's streets.
"I found a terrific pram on Gumtree for just $50," she said. "It has a flat bed, so I put Tucker in that. He sits up and looks around him and loves it. I can take him out easily now. Other tall dogs come up and have a bit of a sniff. I get him out of the pram every now and then and let him have a waddle and a sniff."
Kerry makes a morning stop for her coffee which gives Tucker another opportunity to get out of his pram and socialise with other dogs.
"He's been so much happier since I got the pram," Kerry said. "It has made a difference to his wellbeing."
Caring for an aging dog as we age ourselves is not easy and a responsibility.
Buying and raising a puppy for the senior person, comes with its own myriad problems.
Fortunately, RSPCA Queensland has rolled out a dog training program to help anyone teach their dog good manners.
Nicole Flanagan from Redcliffe has one of five RSPCA branded dog training schools that are now open across the state with the aim to teach the basics to ensure your dog does not become a nuisance to you or an irritant to the neighbours.
"We plan to gradually open schools across the state that carry the RSPCA brand and have our complete support," Mark Townend CEO of RSPCA Queensland said.
This will create business opportunities for anyone who is a dog lover.
Nicole wants to help people ensure their dog, no matter the age, is part of the family.
The RSPCA will provide full and comprehensive training and will assist with marketing for anyone interested in this as a business opportunity.
More information on email: nicole.flanagan@ rspcaschoolfordogs.com. au. More information about Kerry Heany and her dog and the Brisbane food scene at website: eatdrink andbekerry.blogspot.com