Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Bug's Buggy

I’m not sure where the idea came from, but lately I’ve been thinking about buying a pet stroller. I’m sure it sounds stupid and frivolous. Probably as silly as putting a dog in a bag and carrying it around. Or dressing it up in clothes and putting jewelry on it. But there is a method to my madness.

Bug has had problems with his back legs for several months now. The pills from the vet worked at first, but he’s been taking them for awhile now and he’s only about 75% well. This means walking is a chore. Bug doesn’t want to go, and he’s slow. Jack is hard enough to keep up with as it is without Bug lagging behind. But I need to walk more for exercise, Jack needs an outlet for his energy, and we’ve been talking about taking the dogs on a trip with us. If Bug is down, I don’t want that to keep him from going places with us and being able to move around.

I knew a pet stroller would not be cheap. Not many things that are custom made for pets are. And I was right. I started looking on the internet and they were anywhere from $75 to $200. Seriously? I just want to push my dog around. The basket doesn’t have to be lined in gold. It doesn’t have to dispense treats or anything. So I went back to my original thought: get a used baby stroller and modify it.

We found one at Goodwill for $5 and brought it home. It was a simple one. No diaper bag compartment or drink holders. Just a cloth seat. So we got it into the garage and stared at it for awhile, trying to come up with a way to use it. We put Bug in it and, well, he didn’t quite fit. His paws hung over the front, along with his upper torso. We tried putting different things in the seat that would jut out and give him some support but nothing really worked.

At some point, I grabbed the ironing board from the loft in the garage. It was a small one, made for a countertop. Seemed like it would be a good platform for Bug. But we couldn’t figure out how to incorporate it. Until we took the cloth seat off. We slid the ironing board onto the bottom rungs of the stroller. And voila! We had the BugMobile. The ironing board fit really snug so it won’t come out unless we take it out. And we can collapse it down to take with us on a trip. It’s absolutely perfect.
We tried it out twice over the weekend walking around the neighborhood. I hooked Bug’s leash onto him, locked it tight, then slid the handle over the stroller. He rode pretty well, even laid down a couple of times. He jumped off once, but he didn’t go very far because of the leash, and we just put him right back on it. Of course, just because his legs are weak doesn’t mean his mouth is. He stirred up a bunch of dogs in the neighborhood across the road from us with his beagle shrieking. But all in all, it worked out great. We even added a pillow in the back so his tail doesn’t get too close to the back wheels.

So that’s the story of how Bug's buggy was born. I’m quite proud of it. I mean, it was five freaking dollars, an ironing board, and a pillow. Problem solved. And I don't care if people think I'm babying him or just being ridiculous. I know why I'm using it and that's all that matters. But hopefully, Bug will get better, and he won't need it. Lord knows he needs the exercise. But now we have an alternative if he’s not feeling well or if he gets worse as he gets older. Cheap ingenuity rocks.


N said...

I was going to tell you don't spend the darn money on one of those things! I'm very impressed with the ingenuity! You recycled something old and saved a ton of money doing it.

Natalie said...

HILARIOUS! Very resourceful and creative:)

super jane said...

awesome! i love it!

Jessica said...

That's incredible. Looks like he loves it!