It is so tough when you have a dog, that does not show it, when he is in pain The weather is getting colder here, temperatures drop below 10 celsius, during the day and the first frost has been during nighttime. So last week I noticed that Cooper was walking a bit strange. It is not a real limp, because he does use his leg, but he takes a shorter step. First I thought he just pulled a muscle, so we didn't go for a long walk. When I mentioned it to my boyfriend(who walks the dogs for about an hour, when he comes home from work) he said Cooper walked just fine. He had been chasing Jinx and playing with her and had been swimming, as usual. But then during the evening walk he did it again. It comes and goes. It puzzled me, because I couldn't find anything wrong in his leg, no warm spots or any reaction from him while I was feeling his leg. Anyway, we remembered he had this limp on and off during last winter. So I am guessing he has osteoarthritis in a beginning fase. As far as I can tell it is worse when the weather changes(moist, colder) Ofcourse I will take him to the vets, but I don't think they will be able to tell anything, because Cooper has the tendency to hide what is wrong with him, while we are there He is afraid of the vet, so he will act like there is nothing wrong and won't respond to pain stimulation(when the vet puts pressure on joints to find the sore spot) But in the meantime I have been thinking about how to make things easier for him. My dogs have thin pillows as their beds(because those fit in my washingmachine) and they can sleep on the sofa and our bed. But Cooper only uses the sofa, when we go to bed. I came across orthopedic dogbeds, made with memoriefoam(it takes the form of the dog, so it is comfortable) but they cost a ridiculous amount of money. And then, last night, it hit me... why not use a matress for kids? So I posted an add on a facebook site, where you can buy and ask for second hand stuff. And got a respond from a friend of mine, whose kids sleep in big beds now. She had a matress lying around and I could come pick it up for free. I did and when I came home tonight, I put it on the floor, to see if Cooper would like it. See for yourself He loved it!!!! Now I have to get a matress protector, or how do you call those protective sheets, that are waterproof. (Need that, because he loves to swim, but stays wet for a long time, even after we dry him off with a towel and my cat likes to pee in the dogbeds)And make a nice slipcover, that I can wash. For now I used an old sheet and put his regular bed on top of the matress. Coop loves his new bed so much, that he chased Jinx off itHe slept on it the entire evening. So step one in helping him feel better, is a succes! Yay! I'm also thinking of getting him a bathrobe to put on him when he is wet. Hoping it will keep him warm and dry faster. No use in using the hairdryer on him, he hates that. I have been worrying about him all his life, growing pains, as a result of that, backproblems. But I did not expect him to get osteoarthitis at this age. He will be 7 next april. If anything, I thought it would be in his hind legs, not his front leg. But if the vet can't help, I'll take him to see a homeopath, that has helped us before. I like the natural remedies better anyway.