Hi all! We recently discovered the Joyful Paws blog run by Barbara Techel, author of the Frankie the Walk ‘N Roll Dog book series. Barbara has a soft spot for wheelchair-bound pups and dogs with disabilities in general and often runs interviews featuring special needs pets and their owners. She has graciously allowed us to re-post these wonderfully sweet Q and As here on our For the Love of Dog Blog, so you’ll be seeing them here now and again. –Janine Kahn, Managing Editor of Dogster
What is your pet’s name?
How old is your pet?
Approximately 13 years old.
Where did you get your pet?
We took her out of a bad situation after a friend called us about her needing rescue.
What is your pet’s physical challenge?
IVDD (Inter-Vertebral Disc Disease). Her back legs are paralyzed and she requires a cart to be mobile. Chickie does have bowel control but requires her bladder to be expressed several times a day and is diagnosed with chronic UTI, which we monitor daily. Chickie did not always have IVDD, it came one day and even though she has had surgery, she never got the use of her hind legs again.
What is your pet’s favorite thing to do?
She loves to “boogie,” which is the code word we ask her if she wants to get in her cart and join the others.
What is your pet’s favorite thing to eat?
Anything and everything! We are talking about a Dachshund here!
What do you love most about your pet?
I can get her all set up in the chair with me and she starts to look around the room for one of her toys and I have to get them all one at a time until she decides which one she wants. Its usually one of the last ones I bring. I often tell her she is “a ghra mo chroi,” which is Irish for “love of my heart.”
What has your pet most taught you?
Commitment. We knew we were going to do whatever we had to do to give Chickie a decent quality of life. We have also learned how intelligent they can be when worked with. Oh, also how to clean up poop.
Anything else youd like to share?
Chickie actually named herself. When we first got her she would follow my wife around always wanting to be picked up and held. So one day BJ picked up Pepper and asked her if she was my little chick-a-dee? Well, she got all excited so BJ asked her again and the same reaction! So that name stuck and she has been Chickie ever since that day. Chickie is also one of many little ambassadors for Dodgerslist, a website and support group for people with pets that suffer from IVDD. We incorporate her cart into her costumes to bring attention to her disability and show that many handicapped pets can have a decent quality of life. Many people remember her and tell us they look forward to what costume she will be wearing each Halloween.
Keep on rollin’, Chickie!
P.S. If you care for a special needs pet and would like your pet featured, please email Barbara through her website. Send a photo and she will forward the questionnaire for your pet to be featured in an upcoming post.