Date:October 21, 2020

Occupational Therapist Builds a ‘Doggie-Vator’ For Her 3 Elderly Dogs

It’s tough to see our beloved pooches getting older and losing mobility, but New Orleans resident Sonya Karimi wasn’t about to let her rescue pups’ advanced age keep them from getting around.

Sonya Karimi, an occupational therapist in New Orleans put her professional skills to use while she and partner Zach Grate were stuck at home. She built a very clever DIY “Doggie-vator” stairlift for their three elderly rescued pugs George, Bodhi, and Sam. The idea for this nifty machine was to address a serious knee problem that Bodhi had when he was adopted, but the lift works with any little dog who lives in the house.

Sonya decided to transfer her job skills working with elderly humans to her elderly dogs – coming up with the incredibly cute idea to build their own mini-lift which even their younger pug Emery, four, enjoys.

Here you can see all four of Sonya’s dogs: 10-year-old Bodhi, 4-year-old Emery, 13-year-old George, and 10-year-old Sam

Image credits: Mercury Press

Bodhi’s knee problem proved so bad that he needed surgery. The couple created a fundraising page through GoFundMe in April 2020 in order to pay for said surgery.

“It tugs at our heartstrings to see Bodhi unable to keep up with his siblings during playtime or have trouble standing up. So to make it clear, Bodhi is going to be getting his ACL fixed regardless of what happens here because he’s a sweet little guy who deserves to run and play with his brother and new siblings and we would never let our fur babies suffer. However, with the COVID situation, some unexpected personal medical bills and our wedding coming up any help would be greatly appreciated and help us get Bodhi back to 100% as soon as possible!”

Image credits: Mercury Press

1. SONYA OWNS FOUR RESCUE DOGS AND THREE OF THEM ARE ELDERLY. They include 10-year-old Bodhi, 13-year-old George, 10-year-old Sam, and a younger and more spritely 4-year-old Emery. She got the idea to build the doggie stairlift when she adopted Bodhi a few months ago since he had torn knee ligaments that made climbing hard.

2. SHE CALLS IT “THE DOGGIE-VATOR.”Perfect name, given that it’s made especially for her pups! There’s a ramp for the dogs to walk up to get into the actual “cart,” where they’re then given a slow and steady ride to the top of the stairs. Talk about a genius invention!

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It took around 3 months for Sonya to build this wooden lift

Image credits: Mercury Press

4. SHOCKINGLY, THIS HADN’T BEEN DONE BEFORE.“At work, I’ve seen how helpful stairlifts are to people so I was surprised there wasn’t anything similar for dogs with all the different products that are available for pets nowadays. So I thought that we might be able to create something ourselves for our dogs to use,” Sonya, who’s an occupational therapist, told The Daily Mail.

5. THE DOGS TOOK TO IT EASILY AND ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT. Unsurprisingly, the doggie stairlift has been a major hit on Sonya’s house. “They’ve adapted to it so quickly, I thought I’d have to train them for a while to get used to it but they just get on it as if they’ve had it for years! The two older pugs love it especially – they won’t use the stairs, they will sit there and wait until the ride is ready for them and it’s so cute,” she explained.

6. IT TOOK ABOUT HERE MONTHS TO BUILD. Sonya built the doggie stairlift with the help of her fiance Zach and it came out great. These are some wonderful dog parents!

Image credits: Mercury Press

Sonya built this masterpiece with the help of her fiance Zach and his parents

Image credits: Mercury Press

Many people thought that this Doggie-vator is absolutely adorable

And some people immediately knew who it’d be perfect for.