These boots were made for walkin’, Uncle Bear

By Wednesday, January 21, 2015

I could never bring myself to throw Buck’s booties away. It’s been five years since his passing, and while I’ve cleaned out the “pet cabinet” several times since then, I just couldn’t dispose of the well-worn boots that helped our arthritic 13-year-old lab mix maneuver the tile and wood floors without slipping.

Buck in Walkin WheelsIronically, Buck refused to use the $400 Walkin’ Wheels we bought him. He would just stand there, frozen, despite our pleadings (and a bit of tugging). Instead, he preferred the $40 boots. (Note to self: Next time, try the cheaper option first).

This past Christmas, I flew to Colorado to spend the holiday with my mom and my sister, brother-in-law, three nephews and two family pets—my dog-niece, Soupy and my late father’s dog, Uncle Bear, now 14.

For well over a year now, I’ve worried that each time I see Bear might be the last. But thanks to excellent care and love by my sister’s family, a special diet, frequent vet visits and a slew of pills to keep him comfy, Bear lives on—a happy old man-dog.

Over the holidays, I noticed Bear’s back end slipping a bit on the wood floor when he’d try to get up from a nap. While he was able to gather some speed on carpet (using this term “speed” loosely), the bare floors don’t provide his weak, arthritic hind legs much traction.

Gripper BootsI suggested to my sister Stephanie that she check out for a pair of gripper boots for the old man. Then, light bulb moment struck! Buck’s booties are still in the cabinet at home! Maybe that’s why I could never throw them away. Uncle Bear would need them.

As soon as I returned home, I packed up those cute boots and priority mailed them to Bear.

Here he is wearing them—none too pleased, I might add.

Uncle Bear in Gripper Boots

But Stephanie says Bear now has traction on the bare floors, so he’s getting around on them better. (Unfortunately, they trip him up on the carpet a bit, but he’ll adjust to them soon like Buck did).

Uncle Bear in Gripper Boots

Have you ever had trouble parting with something from a pet that had passed? Share your story in the comments. I’d love to hear about it.

I still have Buck’s favorite toy too. The little wooly lamb 🙂 . I keep it hidden so my dog Chilly can’t tear it up.