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Poppy, the Labrador

Poppy has been given a new lease of life as a dog on wheels. Devoted owner Peter Austin feared his beloved pet would be put down after vets warned she would never walk again.

Poppy 1

Early January 2014 Poppy had been perfectly normal, going for her walks etc. when one day she started to stagger a little and within an hour she couldn’t stand or even sit. Peter and Christine contacted their vet immediately and, after an MRI, were told that it was likely to be one of 3 things – a bone/spine problem which might be operable, a tumour (most likely) or an infection (very unlikely).

As the worst case scenario seemed most likely they had to leave her there and say goodbye as the vet wouldn’t revive her if it was a tumour. We can only imagine how they felt driving away. “As we drove back home without her we wept all the way as we really feared we’d never see Poppy again.” Said Peter.

Later that day the vet called with the good news that it was an infection, but the bad news was it had been caused by a leaky heart valve and that her kidneys were close to failure. Amazingly she started to slowly recover and Peter and Christine were able to take her home, give her heart tablets and braced ourselves for the fact she may have only a couple of months to live.

Between January and March Peter and his wife Christine, nursed Poppy back to health – Peter says it was mainly Christine as he injured his back! As Poppy couldn’t get out of the garden and they had talked about her needing stimulation to keep her going, we looked on the internet and found wheels4dogs! “We decided her last months must have a quality of life so we sent off for some wheels and a strap and she used that to move around”.

Poppy 2

Now 12 months after flirting with death she is enjoying mile long walks in her new Walkin’ Wheels cart, supplied by wheels4dogs. She walked on them straight away, but might have been helped by already using a sling and so she is used to “pulling” with her front legs.

Peter says, ‘We had a little trouble adjusting them to get them just right but seem to have it now. She can use her legs a little and they are giving her confidence to try and walk herself! We are forever hopeful.’

Poppy 3

Poppy can now travel on her own. “It was weird at first for her as dogs’ are used to pushing themselves forward with their back legs – not dragging their bodies with their front feet, but she got the hang of it. Now she is just getting stronger and can manage a mile walk with her wheels and even takes a few steps indoors with nothing to support her at all”.

Poppy 4

“She is a miracle dog – amazing. The vets said they have never seen a fighter like her.”

Peter, from Wakefield, West Yorkshire, added: “We are now constantly stopping in the street during walks for people to say hello to her and ask about her new set of wheels.”