December 07, 2009 06:57 PM

Anyone with a big, older dog knows the trouble they can have getting up stairs, into cars or up on the bed. I have that problem now with my dog Jolly. A couple years back Cary and Lindsey Zimmerman had trouble finding a harness that would help their dog Blue hike with them. “As she aged she lost energy and strength but it became important to use to keep her with us,” Cary says. So, they invented a new harness to help senior dogs.

Blue is now gone, but the company they named after her, Blue Dog Designs, has sold 600 Help ‘Em Up Harnesses. They’ve sold hundreds of the harnesses to vets, rehab centers and dog owners since April. One of the best things about the harness is that it’s so styling and well-designed. What few products there are for senior dogs look dowdy and improvised. This gray and orange harness with reflective piping looks athletic and handsome. Walking down the street with an older dog automatically makes you the slow-moving target for all kinds of inappropriate comments. The Help ‘Em Up harness ($85-$95) attracts compliments. Cary says they designed the padded harness to distribute weight evenly to avoid “putting pressure on sensitive organs or vessels. We have not heard any complaints to date.” The best part of the design is the harness for the back end. They call it the “Hip Lift.” My husband calls it “Jolly’s butt handle.” Either way it’s a big help to get an old dog up.

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