Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A Quirky Guppie gets his very own Chariot

Many of you know that we have been through some crazy roller coaster rides with our black lab mix, Bear Guppie. For those who don't know our pack very well Bear and his sister, Jesse, are known as The Guppies because they wiggle like fish and love to swim.

Bear pounces into his pool (summer 2003)

Bear Guppie naps in his pool (summer 2010)

Our big sweet Bear Mortimer Guppie is an especially complicated creature. Being left alone can trigger seizures or can lead to stressful panic attacks that cause him to eat whatever is within reach (so far this has led to 2 emergency abdominal surgeries because of intestinal blockages-the last surgery was 10 days ago).

YUM! I like to eat bad things! (summer 2003)

Stoned Guppie recovering from gastrotomy surgery last week (2011)

We call him a Binary Guppie because he sees his world in two ways: Sue and Not Sue. His world is peaceful and happy as long as His Sue is nearby. His world is stressful and sad when his world is full of Not Sues.

Guppie sandwich (2010)

So, because we prefer NOT to see our boy have seizures or end up in the emergency room we tailor our lives and schedules so that he has the least amount of stress possible and the maximum amount of Sue time that we can give him.

Unfortunately this means that mr smrp and I have not done as many fun things together over the past few years. We used to go nordic skiing, take long hikes, and sometimes even go tele skiing together before Bear's anxiety became so dangerous.

Luckily Snoopie Guppies love crates-inside and on top! (summer 2003)

While I do not mind giving up many of the fun parts of life so that Bear can be happy I have to admit that I would love to find a way to go skiing and take longer adventures with mr smrp. However, our boy does not have the stamina to join us on these types of fun outings because his anti-seizure medications have caused him to be more of a couch potato Guppie (he takes 14 pills/day to control his seizures).

So what is a Guppie Mom to do when she wants to go play but her Guppie needs her, too? Find a creative solution!

After lots of reading and research we discovered a possible answer to our dilemma: Bear needs his very own Guppie Chariot. We bought the largest Chariot children's trailer we could find, a Corsaire XL, that also had a Cross Country Ski Kit attachment. We took the infant chairs out and placed a comfy fluffy dog bed on the bottom and lo and behold! The Guppie Chariot was born!

I called the Chariot company to get some ideas and was surprised that nobody had ever asked them about skiing with a dog in one of their trailers. They were extremely helpful and steered me in the right direction of which model to buy. I am sure that there are lots of older doggies who would love to join their families but can't keep up. I told them I would send some pictures so that they can add them to their website and they were very excited. Maybe we will start a trend :)

The Chariot Corsaire XL with a Cross Country Ski Attachment

The Cross Country Ski Attachment in Action

mr smrp building The Guppie Chariot
I'll bet your first thought is that a fearful dog would not want anything to do with a contraption like this, right?


Bear Guppie lounging in his Chariot minutes after it was built.

Welcome to The Illogical World of Bear (which I'm sure is quite Logical if you are a Bear).

He loves all things that resemble crates-even if they wobble and slide! He actually became somewhat stressed as we were putting it together because he desperately wanted to leap inside and take a nap! What a silly Beah!

J Guppie is not as brave-she has her nervous Guppie Lips on!

We have tested it out on our driveway and it seems like the perfect solution. Bear hops in, snuggles into his fluffy bed, tucks a front paw, and eagerly awaits his Chariot ride. I love my sweet boy for being so willing and brave to try new things despite his normally fearful disposition! Hopefully we will be able to take our first adventure once we get a little more snow on the ground.

Stay tuned for an update of Bear's Big Adventure in his Guppie Chariot!


Maery Rose said...

I love this! What a great idea! Even if your dog is able to keep up with you on a bike, it's often not safe to bike with them running with you, so this might work for that too.

I'm currently trying to figure out how to take a road trip to New Mexico with Java without going broke. Finding dog friendly places to stay is harder than I thought it would be. And I might have to take the monster diesel truck rather than the Mini. Yikes with the gas prices! If I took the truck and wait until warmer weather, maybe sleep in the truck at campgrounds?

I'll just keep an eye on your blog for further adventure with dog options.

Lori Skoog said...

You two are so innovative! I love having you back...great information and interesting stories about all your critters!!!!

KB said...

You and mr smrp are amazing, between your creative ideas and your ability to make them real! I can't wait to hear how it works out. We are always looking for ways to include our dogs in our adventures even when they are hurt or elderly, and this seems like it might work!

Terry said...

Brilliant!!! Bear will love hitting the trails with you.

weneego said...

i love bear! and i love this post. it just goes to show what extraordinary parents you both are!! and how hard you work to accommodate your rescued animal's special needs. bear is not the first one or the last one i've seen this innovation for! wonderful guppies!

has beah recovered completely from his surgery 10 days ago?

Bibi said...

Well, as they say ....... "Necessity is the Mother of invention" ( and I never doubt your ability to invent for your babies, Sue !!

Dream Valley Ranch said...

Thanks to everyone for the encouragement and positive feedback! Today I strolled each Guppie around the living room with a jar of frozen baby food as a pacifier. By the end they were shoving each other trying to be the one who got a ride :) I am very proud of my pups! We should have a nice big storm early next week to try out the ski attachment!

lorijanssen said...

I luv Beah and J Guppie. They are such fuzzy little baby monsters! said...

I'm so glad you're back Sue! The Guppies are SO lucky to have you and mr smrp. :) Well, all of your critters are.

I'm adding you to my blog roll now so that I can keep up with what's going on. Again, I'm so glad you're back!!! xoxo