We bought a ramp for Boscoe, and he is not the least bit happy about it.
Doug bought the ramp on Saturday, after hoisting the flailing and panicky Boscoe into the back of the Jeep so he could go the vet. It's been many months since Boscoe has been able to jump unaided into the truck; he doesn't even try anymore. He just stands on the ground and looks at the unattainable Jeep back with something like weariness on his face.
The last times he tried were in September, when we were up North; each time his back legs weren't strong enough to push off, and he ended up crashing and falling.
This wouldn't be so much of a problem if Boscoe would allow us to lift him into the Jeep, but he won't. He hates being lifted; he flails and thrashes and stretches his legs way out in all directions so it's all you can do to hang on and stuff him in.
So on Saturday, with Boscoe riding shotgun, Doug drove out to the pet store and came home with a ramp. It's a nice collapsable ramp that folds up like a big flat suitcase, and it's made just for Jeeps.
I think you can guess how much Boscoe appreciated it.
Notice how sweet, calm and obedient the dog in the picture is, walking up that ramp. This was not how Boscoe was.
Boscoe wanted nothing to do with it.
We did our best. We channeled Victoria Stillwell. First we lay the ramp flat on the ground and let him sniff it. Problem was, he wasn't interested in sniffing it.
So we scattered treats on it, hoping he would walk across it. But he wasn't interested in walking across it. He was interested in snatching the treats and then wandering around the garage as far away from the ramp as he could get, all the while looking around hopefully for more treats.
Then we hooked the ramp up to the Jeep. It hooks over the bumper and has a little metal clip that attaches securely to the latch. The incline is steep, but the ramp has a nice rough surface to keep him from sliding.
We leashed up Boscoe and tried to get him up the ramp, but he bucked and reared and tried to bolt. Riley levitated effortlessly into the back of the Jeep so he could get a better view, and then watched the doings with great interest.
We put treats on the ramp, and Boscoe lunged as far up the ramp as he could get while still keeping his back legs firmly on the ground, stretched out his neck, gobbled the treats, and then tried to plunge over the side.
We did finally get him up the ramp, through a combination of wheedling, pulling, pushing, and treat-scattering. But it was such a difficult endeavor that when he was finally inside the Jeep, panting, the whites of his eyes huge, we looked at the ramp and saw deep scratches in its rough surface, from his dragging paw nails.
And then we couldn't get him back out of the Jeep.
Boscoe has a long history of climbing into the Jeep and refusing to get out again until we take him for a ride. One time up North he stayed in the Jeep for an entire afternoon and into the evening, waiting. We left the back open, thinking he'd jump out at some point, but border collies are endlessly patient.
Another time I finally got in the Jeep and drove him around the block, just so he'd get out again.
But this time we were in the middle of training. Victoria Stillwell wouldn't put up with this, and neither would we. So we tried to get him down the ramp. (No way.) We tried to lift him back out of the Jeep. (Flail flail flail flail panic flail no way.)
Finally we unhooked the ramp, moved it out of the way, scattered treats on the ground, and let him jump.
Then we hooked the ramp back up and wheedled-pushed-pulled-treat scattered and got him up it again.
We did all this about four times, until all of us were breathing hard and looking rather disheveled, except for Riley, who was watching quietly and with great interest.
Doug folded up the ramp and set it in the corner of the garage. We shall see if it stays there, another failed $100 Boscoe Experiment (remember the pet stairs?), or if we try again.
Riley effortlessly floated back down out of the Jeep and zipped out into the yard and up the side of a tree, oh, about 15 or 20 feet. Just because he can.
And Boscoe? Full of treats, exhausted from his ordeal, he climbed up onto the couch and slept and farted away the afternoon. Our old sweet soul.
Black And White...
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