Jumbo Slide & Obstacle Course for Children
GET FIT with FIDO: bring your dog & exercise with Julie Luther-12:30pm-1pm
ASK THE TRAINER: on-site training tips for your dog with Julie Atchison-1pm-4pm
Vendor Booths (contact email@example.com if you are interesed in more information about a vendor booth)
…and so much more!!!
Often times, I get the calls from customers asking many questions, including “What are the differences between your dog wheelchair and your competitor’s dog wheelchair?”, “Why are your wheels canted?”, “Why do you use a soft saddle?”
These are great questions. And I answer them kindly, and patiently, often times over and over. In fact, I gladly answer any question that you throw at me. Furthermore, I hope you are doing your homework. I hope you are calling every wheelchair company and asking all the hard questions, because your dog is worth it.
Here is the reason. You are building a relationship with the person on the other side of that phone. I spoke with a woman today, who is being very careful about who she chooses to build her dog a wheelchair. Up until today, we have been talking about the technical pieces of the wheelchair. “How far do we need to cant the wheels?”, “What size wheels are we going to use?”, “My dog is very active, how can you guarantee that this wheelchair will hold up in the woods?”
But at the end of the conversation today, I left her with this note. This is a relationship. This is what I am selling. Your dog is 4 years old. That means that you and I are most likely going to be working with one another for the next 6-8-10 years. We will be here for you for the rest of your dog’s life. We will not be closing down, leaving the country, or changing ownership. When you call in need of a replacement harness because your dog just ate it, it will be me that picks up the phone. When you call in 4 years needing new tires, wheels, a buckle, it will be me that answers the phone. I will ask you how “Blue”, or “Sassy”, or “Pickles”, is doing. We will talk about how he or she chased after the mailman yesterday. We will laugh together. And then when the inevitable happens at the end your best friend’s life, we will cry together. So you want to make a connection with the person on the other side of that phone.
This is the exact reason why Ruff Rollin’ does not have an online ordering system. We want you to call us. We want to meet you, hear about your dog, get every detail that we can about the way you and your friend live your life. This only makes you more comfortable in your purchase. You simply can’t build an intimate relationship like this over a computer.
Moral of the story. Do you know what the gal told me on the phone today? She said, “No one has said that to me before. I have called every wheelchair company, and no one has expressed this purchase in that way before.” We make it personal. We take it personal. Your best friend is our best friend. We build dog wheelchairs, but most importantly, we build relationships.
Not only are you now faced with the dilemma of how to care for your newly handicapped dog, including how to clean your dog, how to deal with bed sores, bladder care, dog carts, and physical therapy. But now you have to figure out what to do with your dog during the day while you are away. Elderly dogs tend not to be as big of a problem because they often prefer to lay around all day in their bed. With that being said, I recommend locating a great orthopedic bed for your dog.
But what do you do with a young, very active dog? Well, hopefully you have crate trained your dog since puppyhood. If not, call Caesar, because I don’t know what to tell ya What I recommend for my patients in wheels, is to be crated while you are away. A smaller, compact crate to keep your dog from being able to drag inside the crate is preferred. This is number 1 in wound care. Prevention, prevention, prevention. If you can prevent a drag wound, then you will not have to deal with another traumatizing mess.
A great product out there is called a drag bag. I also recommend trying one of these. The drag bag protects the dog’s skin from breakdown associated with dragging. It helps your dog drag more effortlessly and smoothly, making dragging easier. Because let’s face it. Dogs will drag. It can also protect your floors from the incontinence associated with having a paralyzed dog. It’s main function in this case, is by keeping the diaper on! I would recommend doing some research on the product and ask around. Vet wrap has worked for others, and diapers, as well. Some of you have already had experience with incontinence in your pet. So your pet might already be wearing a diaper. This again, will help give some padding to those areas in the rear hindquarters during dragging.
If your dog is paralyzed in the rear, he or she will not be able to feel sores developing. Please check areas that are prone to drag wounds on a daily basis. These areas are feet, elbows, knees, and rump. And please, I repeat, take your dog to the vet if your dog has areas that are raw or open. These can become infected and fatal if left untreated.
If your dog is already experiencing a drag wound, some products that have been recommended are Medihoney, Vetericyn, or Granulex. Granulex has to be prescribed by a doctor, but Medihoney and Vetericyn can be found in local pet retail stores.
Finally, please do not take this advice over the advice of your dog’s veterinarian. We are not qualified to give medical advice. We can only give you advice based on the experience that we have gained in helping our clients cope during this difficult time.
When I was little, I remember in just about every mall that my family and I went into, there was a pet store selling dogs. I remember a little chihuahua very specifically. My Mom had always wanted a chihuahua. Apparently, when she was growing up, she had one named Oly. You could see the desire in her eyes, as her clutched hands held that puppy so tight, we thought she would never let go. Lining the walls of that pet store, were tiny glass houses and tiny puppies curled up in each little house. They had food and water in their bowls, and their coats shined in the florescent lights that adorned their miniature glass homes. On the outside, it looked as though those animals were very well taken care of, getting constant attention. And I’m sure they were. The pet store was asking $2500 for that dog! And if my Dad had the money in his pocket, he would have given his wife her biggest dream, to have another pocket buddy to take to the grocery store, and accompany her wherever she went. It was extremely hard to walk out of that store without that little girl…
What we didn’t know were the bigger truths behind the scenes, and where that precious little puppy came from. We didn’t know that this puppy most likely came from a puppy mill. Here is how the Humane Society of the United States defines a puppy mill.
“Puppy mills are breeding facilities that produce purebred puppies in large numbers. The puppies are sold either directly to the public via the Internet, newspaper ads, at the mill itself, or are sold to brokers and pet shops across the country.
The documented problems of puppy mills include over breeding, inbreeding, minimal veterinary care, poor quality of food and shelter, lack of socialization with humans, overcrowded cages, and the killing of unwanted animals. To the unwitting consumer, this situation frequently means buying a puppy facing an array of immediate veterinary problems or harboring genetically borne diseases that do not appear until years later.
Sadly, some dogs are forced to live in puppy mills their entire lives. They are kept there for one reason only: to produce more puppies. Repeatedly bred, many of these “brood bitches” are killed once their reproductive capacity wanes. Thousands of these breeding operations currently exist in the United States.”
I don’t really feel like I need to write a long blog to describe why I adopt from shelters, rescues, or humane societies. It’s pretty clear that by supporting puppy mills, you are supporting the profiting of these groups, who disregard the health of these animals. I recently watched a video of a sweet girl named “Lizzy” that lived 12 years in a small cage in a puppy mill. Her only purpose in life was to breed. When rescued by National Mill Dog Rescue, she immediately went to a loving home. But Lizzy had NEVER touched the ground. She was placed on the grass, and literally could not figure out what the fluffy green stuff under her feet was all about! That is insane to me!
The most heartbreaking part of this story, is that I’m about to say “do not support facilities that are linked to puppy mills.” The hardest thing to do is to turn your back and not save some of those sometimes neglected, abused, babies. But that’s another topic for next time, the long term effects of puppy mills. If we don’t support them, they won’t survive.
If you have $2500 burning a hole in your pocket, next time you want to purchase the perfect breed, search out a breed rescue. There is a rescue for just about every breed out there. Rescue your soul mate, and spend the rest of that money saving another animals life, by donating to a local animal shelter. Now, you have saved two or more animals. hmmm.
Brook’s dog, Fio, was diagnosed with a tumor inside of the spinal cord on April 26, 2011, after months of mysteriously weakening rear quarters. He was given three months – at most – to live.
After realizing that Fio was paralyzed, but his spirit was not broken, Brooke fundraised for a wheelchair amongst friends, family, and strangers. She bought a Ruff Rollin’ wheelchair, specially made with large tires for this active boy.
Fio was back and better than ever. He lived longer than three months – seven months and eleven days, to be exact. He passed away on December 6, 2011.
On January 11, 2012, Natalie contacted Ruff Rollin’ regarding a used wheelchair for her dog, Shilo. The folks are Ruff Rollin’ realized that Fio and Shilo, while aesthetically very different, had virtually identical measurements! Brooke happily agreed to give her wheelchair to Natalie free of charge – a good friend even paid the interstate shipping! The chair arrived on January 18, 2011.
Natalie’s canine friend, Shilo, was diagnosed with osteosarcoma on December 20, 2011 and given two months to live. Natalie was determined that her spirited pup also “live it up” during his last few months. Shilo had a great time all over town (check out his FB page to see his adventures).
Shilo passed away on May 3, 2012, more than four months after his osteosarcoma diagnosis.
Both of these boys far exceeded the limits imposed on them – they were canine warriors! These warriors were able to conquer the world via their Ruff Rollin’ wheelchairs. They went for walks downtown, hikes in the woods, swimming in rivers, and romps in the dog park. Fio turned heads accompanying Brooke on daily jogs and Shilo brought smiles to unsuspecting shoppers faces.
We miss our boys and are so glad to have had the privilege to know them. – Brook and Natalie
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