This Saturday, we had seven appointments between 9 AM and noon for cart upgrades, measurements and fittings. It was a wonderful time for everyone, humans and dogs, to meet and share their stories and successes.
Betsy the corgi has degenerative myelopathy and came for a neutral balance upgrade, as she’s developed a gimp in one of her front legs due to the loss of a toenail. At 13 years of age, she wanted to make her feel weightless on her body even though the DM has only affected her rear legs at this point.
Baxter, the whippet, has had his wheels for 2 years and wasting from his debililitating neuro-muscular disease. But he loves his wheels and his high-stepping, high energy personality just won’t quit. We retro-fitted his cart with a variable axle upgrade so that his mom can fine-tune the balance of his cart to match his varying strength levels. We loved how Tracey, his mom, has pimped out his cart with sheepskin saddle covers to protect his boney butt, and hot hubcaps on his wheels with his name “Baxter – Wag and Roll”.
The fitting we were most anxious about was Caz, the Giant Mastiff, who came for his front wheel cart fitting. Caz had a front leg amputation and was getting his owners trained to wait on him hand and foot, since it was such a great effort to get up and go on his own. Caz is a typical mush-pot mastiff, more interested in having his belly rubbed than anything else, so he was less than thrilled with having to make use of his wheels. It took only a little convincing though, once we got him in and up, and he began to remember how nice it is to walk on his own again without pain running through his elbow.
This is when it’s nice to put our dogs to work. Willa, our chi-weiner born without any forelimbs, was all about showing off her driving skills to Caz. She makes it all look so easy, and Caz was willing to follow her lead out to the car to take his wheels home.
Once he’s at home, with his own pack to keep up with, we’re sure he’ll find the motivation to master driving his dog wheelchair.
Lucky, the chihuahua, born with spina bifida came to be measured, at the same time as Holly, the Golden showed up to pick up her cart. Holly enjoyed visiting all the other dogs who were hanging out – Baxter, Webster, Willa, and Joseph. Joseph, the pug rolled in on a rolling luggage cart, to be measured for a four-wheeled walker to compensate for all-fourlimb weakness. Joseph is a therapy dog in Boston, and we need to him visiting people in hospitals and nursing homes.