AnyoneGo Wheelchair: hind legs Buddy the Cuddle Bud

Dachshaund in a wheelchair, Dachshaund with handicap, anyonego dog wheelchair

Our client Michala asked us if she could share the story of her dog Buddy. As most stories written by dedicated dog parents are – it is a bit longer, but it is definitely worth reading!

A Wheelchair for an Active Dog

As a kid, all I wanted was to have a dog. But as usual, my parents disagreed. Why? “You’re too young!” “You’ll stop having fun and what will the poor animal do then?” “You have to go to school and will not have enough time.” You know all the reasons parents give – but the thing is, they are right. Because having a dog? It’s not something to underestimate.

With the dog come not only happy and funny moments but also worries – not only emotional ones but also financial. 

HAVING A DOG WAS MY DREAM

I believe we can achieve almost any dream we have – we just have to do what it takes to get there. I fulfilled my childhood dream 7 years ago. Finally, I got a puppy, my little angel with a devilish side. He was a beautiful two-month-old guy I named Buddy.

Dachshaund in a wheelchair, Dachshaund with handicap, anyonego dog wheelchair

Buddy was a very lively and stubborn puppy. He fit the definition of a Dachshund to the T. He pissed on some things here and there, chewed our shoes, and dug tunnels in the garden. And his facial expression? He doesn’t need to speak to let everyone know what he is thinking. Many times his funny grimace got us laughing out loud. Everything was as it should be.

As most of you surely know, almost every dog breed has a disease that affects much of its population. Dachshunds suffer from prolapse of the intervertebral discs due to their body structure. I am not an expert, but I can tell you it is not an easy-to-care illness. I speak from my own emotional and financial experience. Buddy and I had to fight it in January last year.

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Unexpected Operation

Buddy loves the phrase “Let’s go out!” Every time he hears it, he magically appears at the door, ready to run. But this time, after I said it, Buddy just slowly went to the door without much interest. I thought he was probably tired and didn’t want to go. I let him out anyways, he went to the toilet and crawled to the door with a whimper. I took him home, where I noticed that he had a bloated belly that felt hard when I touched it. I was afraid he had a stomach torsion and called a veterinary emergency.

I was told that small breeds do not suffer from torsion of the stomach and if Buddy does not have a temperature, then it is nothing serious and I should take him there in the morning. But he’s not just a dog, he’s our family member, so this answer wasn’t enough for me. I knew something bad was happening. And just as he was here for me when I needed him, I wanted to be his advocate when the table turned.

I contacted an animal emergency office near my home through a friend… I called, I described the problem and within 10 minutes, we were in a car, driving to the emergency. Buddy underwent an X-ray, which showed that the problem probably had something to do with his bladder. We agreed it would be good to do a sono examination in the future. Buddy was given analgesics and we drove home.

The next day Buddy was feeling better, but in the evening, everything was looking bleak again. I found another veterinary clinic nearby, loaded Buddy in the car, and off we went again. After the vet saw us, she said: “Don’t be alarmed, Buddy will probably whine a bit now.” And whine he did. The doctor said that Buddy has a protruding disc and that we have two options. One is to give him corticoids that will help now, but his health will get worse in the future; the other possibility was to operate him immediately. My heart skipped a beat…

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Without hesitation, I blurted out that I am up for the surgery. The vet immediately called a colleague and asked if he could come to the clinic and operate on my furry friend right now. “Yes, I’ll be there in half an hour.”

Buddy was immediately prepared for surgery, they shaved the place of the injection, took his blood, tried to reassure the crying owner (aka me), acquainted me with the operation – and the associated financial costs. Everything was set and I had to leave Buddy at the clinic and go to work.

An hour passed, then two hours, two and a half… finally, the phone rang.
“Yes?”
“Buddy is resting after the operation. It went well, but the disc was crushed and was interfering with the spinal cord. So, Buddy may never walk on his hind legs again and will not be able to empty himself.”

At that moment, another wave of negative emotions came, I started crying and thinking about what Buddy’s and my future will look like.
When we came to the clinic to pick Buddy up, the doctor explained everything to us again. He also mentioned the so-called Spinal Walk, which can be learned during rehabilitation. If he would master it, Buddy would walk as if he’d never been paralyzed. The idea of Buddy walking again? Unreal.

cuddle dog, sleeping dog

Dog’s Rehabilitation

After Buddy’s month-long convalescence period, we started to act. I contacted the amazing Kateřina Plačková from PhysioDog in Prague, who is an expert in rehabilitation and has excellent results. I called, we arranged everything, and in three weeks Buddy’s was in his first aqua therapy session.

The first aqua therapy went well beyond our expectations. Buddy’s feet were moving in the bathtub as if they had never been paralyzed. We were over the moon and started to believe the possibility of him walking again. After an hour of therapy, Kateřina told us everything we needed to know, we got a list of exercises to do at home and set dates for more rehabilitation.

We drove to PhysioDog every week for almost a year. Buddy was ok in the bathtub, his legs were walking, they were ready to do that on the ground as well, but the Dachshund’s stubborn head! After a few exercises, Buddy started to get angry. He was often disobedient and stubborn in therapies. At home, it was a bit better, but still, no-one managed to persuade Buddy to learn to sit up, which is an important first step to learn the Spinal Walk. 

We all tried to motivate him, to bribe him with treats, to persuade, but in vain. Buddy got used to his life as a “seal”. At home there were no big obstacles, he always got where he needed to go, he got what he needed – it suited him, he was satisfied. Which, on one hand, was good, we were happy he was comfortable, not hurting and happy… but what about his beloved walks and running outside? It won’t work, he can’t be locked up at home for the rest of his life. But even this question had an answer – a wheelchair for handicapped dogs!

 

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Time for the Wheelchair for Dogs

The Internet is full of companies that make carts for disabled dogs, but finding one that is durable, light, easy to store, and, in fact, decent looking, was a challenge. Kateřina Plačková and her PhysioDog team helped us with this, too. They are cooperating with the startup AnyoneGo, with which they have a good experience, and suggested we look at their wheelchair. We got in touch with Mrs. Varnerova, with whom we started the journey to get Buddy his new wheelchair.

We measured Buddy, took photos, and sent it by e-mail. For one month, Mrs. Varner and I exchanged several emails, fine-tuning all the details to make everything perfect, the wheelchair was printed, assembled, and sent to us.

The PPL service brought the wheelchair right in front of my house and I eagerly ran inside to open the package so we could try it right away.

After opening the package, I was pleasantly surprised by how strong, light, and just beautiful the wheelchair is.

Finished the assembly according to the instructional video I received from the company, adjusted it to fit Buddy’s body. Then, the moment of truth came. I took Buddy and put him in the cart for the first time.

 

Dachshaund in a wheelchair, Dachshaund with handicap, anyonego dog wheelchair

It was a moment of tension… Great, Buddy isn’t talking to me. For a good 15 minutes, he stood still in the corner, sulking – what the fluff was he wearing and what was it for? Treats, toys, meat, nothing persuaded him to move. Buddy was still standing as if he was chained to the floor. 

Have you ever tried to make Dachshund do something he didn’t want to do? It’s impossible. Now what? 

Since I saw that making Buddy walk in the house was hopeless, I had an idea. I packed the cart and Buddy and took him to his favorite place – in the woods where his friends live. These friends are a pen of very vocal goats. 

I put his cart on again and waited. Buddy made a few steps. He stopped and looked around. The goats were screaming, I was just standing still. Buddy looked around. And suddenly, he started to walk. Then, we were running on the forest road, over rocks, sticks, even taking the wheelchair on a ride in the forest itself. I stood there, crying with happiness, the goats were screaming, everyone was cheering.

After an hour’s walk, I packed the cart, loaded Buddy into the car, and drove home – tired and happy.

And how Buddy’s story developed so far. But it is definitely not over yet. Buddy still has a lot of adventures ahead of him. I just hope that they’re all happy. He deserves it, he is a tiny dog with a stubborn head and a big, big heart.

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