An occupational therapist has built a homemade stairlift to help her three older rescue dogs tackle the stairs in their old age.
Cute older pugs George, 13, and Bodhi, 10, plus Boston terrier Sam, 10, were pampered with an incredible stairlift so they could travel in style.
Sonya Karimi, 31, of New Orleans, Louisiana, decided to build the mini-lift when she adopted Bodhi two months ago, who had a torn knee band.
Video footage posted on YouTube on July 16 shows the smart DIY lift in action, carrying the puppies up and down the stairs.
Sonya Karimi, 31, of New Orleans, Louisiana, decided to build a mini wooden stairlift for her older rescue dogs George, 13, and Bodhi, 10, Boston terrier Sam, 10, and her four-year-old pug Emery (pictured)
The dogs travel up and down the stairs in a wooden box, with a latch that locks them securely in the cart. A remote control is then used to send the puppies on their way, much to their delight
Sonya Karimi, who owns the four rescue dogs with her fiancé Zach, decided to build the mini-lift when she adopted Bodhi two months ago, who had a torn knee strap
One of the pugs walks into the small wooden box and the hatch is closed behind the dog so that it does not jump out halfway through the trip.
After clicking the button on the remote, the dog goes down the stairs and looks very calm as he slowly descends the wooden ramp.
If the car comes to a stop at the bottom of the stairs, the dog easily steps out of the box on an easily accessible connecting ramp.
The cart is designed so that more than one dog can travel in the cart at a time, filming one of the pugs going up with Sam the stairs.
Ms. Karimi’s younger pug Emery, four, also likes to travel the stairlift, even though the device was designed for his older friends.
Sonya, who owns the four rescue dogs with her fiancé Zach, said, “Our most recent foster dogs Bodhi and Sam grew up together and are both about ten years old.
“I noticed Bodhi was walking strangely after we adopted him and found he had a torn ACL. The surgery would cost about $ 3,000 (£ 2,700) and we didn’t know if he would do well under anesthesia.
The quirky idea received a positive response from family, friends and even strangers online, after Sonya shared adorable photos of her pets who love the elevator
Sonya (pictured with her fiancé Zach) decided to use her occupational therapist experience to help her own dogs because she saw how ‘helpful stairlifts are for people’
“It only really bothered him when he was going up and down the stairs – I’ve worked with geriatrics in the past and I have geriatric dogs so I thought there must be some way to make it easier for them to go up to go.
“At work, I’ve seen how useful stairlifts are for people, so I was surprised that there was nothing comparable for dogs with all the different products available for pets today.
“So I thought maybe we could make something for our dogs to use ourselves.
“They adapted to it so quickly that I thought I’d have to train them for a while to get used to it, but they just get on it like they’ve had it for years!
“The two older pugs especially love it – they won’t be using the stairs, they’ll be sitting there waiting for the ride to finish for them and it’s so cute.”
The smart DIY project lasted about three months, with Zach’s retired engineer parents helping the couple with the wiring tucked neatly under the stairs.
They built the DIY stairlift using a powerful motor intended for a car (above) so they could sit more than one dog in the cart at a time
Surprised that dog stairlifts were not readily available to pets, Sonya started the DIY project, which took about three months to complete
The family spent many weekends making the wooden structure and wiring, using a motor intended for a car so that they could have more than one dog in the cart.
Sonya said, “Both of my engaged parents are now living with us, so we came up with a rough sketch of what we wanted to show them and see if it was possible.
“We traveled a lot to hardware stores and it was all trial and error – even something as simple as putting wheels on the cart was tricky because they didn’t make the wheels small enough for what we needed.”
After the stairlift was completed, the pair used treats to convince the dogs to use the cart before securing and transporting the latch when needed.
Sonya said, “It was funny after we did the training initially because they would just sit in a row by the elevator and thought they would get something tasty for it.
“We are proud that we were able to do it all from scratch.
Zach’s retired engineer parents (pictured with Sonya and Zach) helped the pair make the DIY mechanism, especially with the wiring
“I was so shocked that there is nothing comparable, with a range of pet products and money that we all want to spend on our pets these days.”
The quirky idea received an overwhelmingly positive response from family, friends, and even strangers online, after Sonya first posted adorable photos of her pets who love the elevator on July 11.
Sonya now plans to paint the stairlift like the famous trams in their native New Orleans so her beloved pets can ride in style.
She added, “I was wondering if I would go overboard with the idea, but once we posted it, the great feedback I received was further confirmed that we had done the right thing for our pets.
“If you’re not a pet, you might think it’s crazy, but our dogs are just like our kids, so we’re willing to do anything to make their lives easier.”