A Raised Dog Bed for Belka


Belka needed a raised dog bed. She is small, 9 years old, has arthritis, and cannot jump. Belka is our third dog, our latest pet addition. Her name means “squirrel” in Russian. She is from Kazakhstan. She used to be a stray her whole life. Well, she stationed herself at a municipal garage, for the most part, where a couple of drivers cared for her, brought her food from time to time, and found adoptive parents for her puppies. But she was never inside a house and still had to roam the neighborhood for sustenance. This is how my husband first met her – she was searching for food. Then one day he was walking down the street and saw her sitting on the side of the road and nursing her front leg. He picked her up and took her to a vet and then to another, more capable, one. She ended up having a surgery to fix her broken elbow and another one to have her spayed. She was very ill and very confused. My husband cared for her day and night. And then- bam! she got on a plane (three, actually), crossed a half of the globe, and joined our family. Here she is. Everyone, meet our Belka! It took her a while to get used to Styopa and Raya – they are so big! But now she wants to do what they do. When they jump on the bed, she wants to be with them. Hence, a need for a raised dog bed next to the big bed so she can climb to the same level, but the big ones don’t step or lie on her inadvertently.

Here is the troop 🙂


So, I went rummaging through the storage room in the basement and I found out I had everything I needed to make a raised dog bed: an old coffee table, a plywood remnant, and an orphaned outdoor seat cushion (the seat itself was long gone).

Here is the coffee table:


It was oval, so I used the rectangular frame as a guide to cut both ends parallel to the frame. Like this:



The width of the table was 20 inches. The plywood length was 48 inches, but the width was about 16 inches only. So, I cut the plywood in half and had two pieces together measuring 24 inches by 32 inches, a perfect fit.





I put the plywood pieces together on the floor, and carefully placed the table on top, making sure the long ends of the table were parallel with the plywood. Then I marked the corners of the table on the plywood and took the table off. After that, I put strips of Power Grab glue (good stuff, I use it all the time) onto the plywood, repositioned the table on top of it using the corner marks, and left the glue to cure.

plywood with glue

I didn’t want to rely on the glue alone, although it has a freakishly strong bond once it cures. In the past, I used it to to reface closet doors with wooden blinds planks and they stay put even if the door catches against the frame (see my previous post about that). However, the coffee table surface was sleek, and I didn’t want the plywood to shift while I was trying to screw it onto the table.

While I waited for the glue to cure, I dealt with the cushion. It was too long, so I simply cut it to the length (32 inches) with scissors, cover and all, one layer at the time.


Then it was a sewing machine time. I needed a new cover for the cushion. I used an old table cloth for that. Its neutral colors worked well with the bedroom where I planned to put the bed.


Nothing fancy. I made a simple cover with corners sewn to accommodate the height of the cushion.


By the time I was done with the cushion, my glued base had cured. I secured the top plywood and the base with a couple of screws, just to make sure they don’t fall apart, and the bed was pretty much done.


Here is my old girl on the bed. Everybody is happy!

P.S. Steps were purchased separately.