You might think, “My dog doesn’t have any problem with his back legs. Why would I need this? “
You just never know.
When I read Marley and Me by John Grogan, I mentally screamed, “Why don’t you use a sling,” when the big old lab had great trouble getting out of the snow and up the stairs into the house. Marley suffered from severe arthritis in his hips and was also too heavy for John to carry.
I’ve had too much experience with dogs with rear-end difficulties, so I can’t stand it when someone doesn’t use a simple product to help a dog, but instead watches them suffer.
Twelve years ago, Kaylee, my springer spaniel, developed osteosarcoma in one of her back legs and had it amputated. She was fine walking on three legs for months, but then became wobbly and eventually needed a wheelchair. I used a sling often to take her out for potty breaks. The sling was very useful, but awkward with its straps and handles, but I managed to use it for over a year.
Three years later my next springer, Cassie, developed coonhound paralysis, which is a temporary condition starting with her rear end and rapidly progressing to all of her limbs. She stayed at the vet for five days before they released her to me – still paralyzed. I found Kaylee’s old sling and used a harness and short leash so I could support both her front and her rear – like a puppeteer. I held the two handles of the sling in one hand and the leash in the other, while supporting her 42 pounds. Luckily, she only needed this for two days before she recovered enough to walk on her own.
Then eight years later, Cassie developed a brain tumor, which caused her to lose her balance and curve her body to the left. I hoped I still had the sling since I had leant it to a neighbor when her German Shepherd became wobbly from hip dysplasia. Luckily, I found it and once again had to manage all the handles to hold the sling and leash.
So for me – the GingerLead is a must have piece of equipment.
Problems with a regular sling
- Two handles and several long straps made it awkward to use.
- It doesn’t hook to the collar or harness, so a leash is needed to support the dog’s front.
- The sling often bunched up under their belly, making it uncomfortable.
Benefits of the GingerLead
- The GingerLead consists of padded, durable nylon with a corduroy lining. This gives it more support so it doesn’t bunch up.
- The handles fold together into a padded Velcro closure – so no struggling to hold multiple handles.
- It’s adjustable based on the size of the dog and owner.
- This part is the best—it comes with a leash to hook onto the dog’s collar or harness! Everything fits into one hand!
I tried it on Chipper, my old cocker spaniel, who doesn’t currently have any problems walking, and it fit him quite well. I hope I won’t need this for him, but I’ll keep it in my dog supply drawer just in case.
I received the GingerLead shown on Chipper for a product review.