Woman makes DIY stairlift for her elderly rescue pugs
When Sonya Karimi, 31, from New Orleans, Louisiana, adopted elderly pugs George,13, and Bodhi, 10, and Boston terrier Sam, 10, she noticed they struggled to climb her stairs.
Bodhi found it especially tough due to a torn knee ligament.
Rather than having to carry the pups up the stairs each time they wanted to go up a level, Sonya decided to get creative.
She built the dogs their very own stairlift, which even her younger pug Emery, four, enjoys.
Sonya used to work with the elderly, so has seen stairlifts in action.
She figured out how to build her own, crafting the wooden structure and getting Zach’s retired engineer parents to help out with the wiring, which is neatly tucked underneath the stairs.
The DIY project took just three months to complete and uses a motor meant for a car so that more than one dog can sit in the cart at a time.
Sonya, who owns four rescue dogs with fiancé, Zach, said: ‘Our most recent foster dogs Bodhi and Sam grew up together and are both around ten years old.
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‘I noticed Bodhi was walking strangely after we adopted him and found out he had a torn ACL.
The surgery was going to cost around $3,000 (£2,700) and we didn’t know if he would do well under anaesthesia.
‘It only really bothered him when he was walking up and down the stairs – I’ve worked with geriatrics in the past and I have geriatric dogs so I thought there had to be some way to make it easier for them to get upstairs.
‘At work, I’ve seen how helpful stairlifts are to people so I was surprised there wasn’t anything similar for dogs with all the different products that are available for pets nowadays.
‘So I thought that we might be able to create something ourselves for our dogs to use.
‘They’ve adapted to it so quickly, I thought I’d have to train them for a while to get used to it but they just get on it as if they’ve had it for years!
‘The two older pugs love it especially – they won’t use the stairs, they will sit there and wait until the ride is ready for them and it’s so cute.’
Once the project was finished, the couple used treats to coax the dogs on to the cart before securing the latch and transporting them upstairs when needed.
Sonya said: ‘It was funny after we initially did the training because they would just sit in a line by the elevator thinking they would get a treat for it.
‘We’re proud that we were able to do it all from scratch.