Tuesday, September 7, 2010

What Is It?

On our evening walk along the Avon, I was startled to see a lady with two small dogs who appeared to be pulling little carts behind them. On closer examination and in discussion with Pat, their owner, I discovered these were not carts, but rather "doggie wheelchairs". We listened fascinated as she shared her story about the dogs who appeared strong and very capable of giving their mistress quite a run!

Haricot, 9 years old now, had come to her from the French Bulldog Rescue Centre. He had been run over by a car, and his owner had been so negligent that as he dragged his paws behind him they became raw, infected and were constantly bleeding. Loving care at the rescue centre and from Pat has brought him back to health. He has leather shoes for his back feet as he has some limited use of those legs and was constantly working himself out of the stirrups.This enables him to "walk" as he is able, but in a very supported manner.

Pearly is a more recent addition to Pat's family. She had been so badly abused in a puppy mill, that she has no use of her hind end. The rescue centre called Pat to see if she could take her right away rather than having her first adjust to the centre and then later to another home. Pat readily agreed. The wheels support Pearly's body so she can move quite freely. She craves affection and is very protective of any human who bestows love. As my friend was petting and playing with her, a large dog came by, and she seemed quite ready to attack if necessary to defend us all.

It is amazing the lessons one can learn while walking the Avon. Tonight it was a lesson in human love, and in the animals' determination to survive and to enjoy life to the fullest.

This article also appeared in Helen's column AROUND TOWN WITH HELEN HARRISON in Your Daily Source. September 8,2010

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