Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Sure footing

These stair treads may not look like much; in fact, they're not much, but they represent a small triumph for the day. They make all the difference in Sophie's ability to negotiate the very steep and very slippery wooden stairs.

I plan to get a nice runner installed, but I need to wait until I have been in the house a bit to figure out what colors and/or pattern I want. And even if I knew what I wanted right now, it would take a couple of weeks to get a runner bound and installed. So in the meantime I wanted a cheap, temporary solution that would save me from having to carry my 45-pound dog down the stairs several times a day. She can go up fine, but coming down, her feet would slide out from under her, and she would almost fall, or get stuck halfway down.

I went to Carpet Exchange and they were less than helpful, telling me what I wanted was impossible. There is no such thing as temporary treads to help out an old dog, but they would be happy to sell me a real runner and send someone to install it next week sometime.

Then I went to Home Depot, where Mickey in the carpet department said, "Awww, I have a 14-year-old dog and I know just what you need." We measured out 12 feet of el cheapo, thin rubber-backed carpet and she spent half an hour cutting it into 13 tread-sized pieces for me, then led me to the staple/nail gun area and showed me what kind to get and what nails to use.

Since I'm getting a runner anyway, a few extra little nail holes won't make a difference, but having the dog able to negotiate the stairs without help will.

Sure enough, she came down slowly but steadily, and didn't slip once.

Carpet: $25. Nail gun: $15. Dog in one piece: Priceless.


  1. Kudos to Mickey - and hooray for Sophie - independence in your old age is indeed priceless! (And in the photo, the carpet pieces look very okay)

  2. Thanks! They're not as bad as I thought they might be.

    The previous owners have a baby and a toddler, and I can see that the stairs are another reason for wanting a different house. Baby's room upstairs and toddler's down is a recipe for some serious worrying.