Buddy has been getting stuck in the basement lately. He insists on following my husband down there when he's doing laundry or getting some tool and then Buddy decides he's too afraid to climb back up the stairs. Or at least we think the problem is that he's afraid. He does have some old-age stiffness in his joints, but goes down the stairs fine, it's up that's the problem; and it's just this set of stairs. The three smaller stairs that adjoin these and lead to the kitchen are no trouble for him. The problem, we suspect, is that these stairs are open-backed and Buddy can *see through them* and maybe with his decreased vision it's just enough to make him feel unsure of himself.
You'd think he'd remember this and not go down there. But the urge to follow my husband and be in the middle of everything is still strong in him. He'll whine and pace. He'll try taking a running start at it, but gets only as far as his front feet on the first step before he chickens out. We spent nearly an hour coaxing him once before my husband had to carry him up. Poor embarrassed Buddy!
We've tried to be mindful of it and close the kitchen door on our way down so Buddy can't follow. Saturday my husband was in and out getting tools from the basement to help a friend of his - both were in the basement for just a minute and then left with the door open. Buddy went down to check things out without my knowing it. An hour or so later I realized he was missing and sure enough he was laying stranded at the bottom of the stairs, looking pitiful. There's just no way I can carry all 90+ pounds of dog up the stairs, so I tried coaxing him. It didn't work so I apologized and took his pic. An hour or so later he appeared in the living room, wagging his tail furiously.
I'm curious if anyone has had any experience with this in an older dog. We mentioned it to his vet when we were there last week and she wasn't too concerned and said that if it were hip or joint pain that was causing it, she would expect it to be when going down the stairs. I'm wondering if anyone has any ideas of what might be causing this new quirk in our old boy.
a return Visit
10 months ago