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Patti's Wheels

Story ID:672
Written by:Suzana Margaret Megles (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Diary/Journal Entry
Location:Lakewood Ohio USA
Year:2004
Person:Suzana Megles
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Patti's Wheels

Patti's Wheels

Patti, my 11 year old Huskie mix who has a canine cart has become an object of interest in our suburb of Cleveland. One dear elderly gentleman thought she might have been in training to help a handicapped person. Another thought that the wheels were only temporary after she had undergone an operation.
Sadly, neither was correct in their assumptions
and I would have gladly forgone this "notoriety" if only Patti's back paralyzed legs would regain mobility as is the case sometimes with Dachshunds. They have been known to become only temporarily paralyzed and some are able to run freely again after awhile.
Unfortunately, my Patti has inoperable
degenerative myelopathy. So,I invested in a "wheelchair" -- better known as canine wheels. Before their advent, I imagine many people had to put down their dogs when they
becane afflicted with DM. In my case,I knew I had to try to help Patti with some mobility. However,I only put Patti in the wheels for an hour each morning. In April when I got them I had a lot of difficulty in fitting her into them correctly, and she didn't even seem to like them at all at first.
Luckily, through Bruce's Beagle network, a wonderful couple--Vicki and Dan,45 minutes away from me, responded to his SOS after I had explained to him my problem. God bless them for their caring hearts.
The wheels involved fitting her with a harness and saddle. I found clicking the saddle onto the cart better for me and then I would lift her into it. Patti-being only 40 pounds, I found this manageable. If she had been heavier, I would have had to put her down because at 73, I have lost my ability to carry heavier objects.
The rest of the day she lies in my living room on a quilt with pillows. Four times a day I "sling" her with a thick soft band of material and take her out for her bathroom needs. Sometimes, while in her cart, she has a bowel movement and of course, she can also urinate from the cart as well. I also found that sometimes just lying her down on the lawn makes it easier for her to defecate. So, twice a day I lay her on the ground for this purpose. I don't know how others handle this, but I found that no one seemed to provide me with much information in this regard.
I also make sure that the food I give her produces a firm stool. The usual fare is a couple of spoonfuls of canned Pro Plan and Vegetarian dog food, some dry kibble and cottage cheese as well as a crumbled piece of cinnamon bread which she enjoys. One time I gave her almost a whole can of "meat" dog food and it was too rich and she had diarrhea big time. I was more careful after that and I think the cottage cheese and bread helped to firm up her stools.
Would I still keep Patti going despite the obvious difficulties of having a handicapped dog? Of course. She is very special to me as are all my companion animals. And as long as I feel Patti is happy and content, I will keep on with my regiment of loving care. Thank you dear God for Patti.

P.S. Sadly, in November of this same year (2003)I had to put Patti down because her front legs went too. As long as she had those we could manage very well, but without them it would be impossible -at least for me. All decisions of this kind are heart-wrenching for anyone who loves their companion animal. It is 2007 now and I still think of her lovingly and wish that the outcome could have been different. My only consolation -I believe I will see her and all my beloved animals again because in Ecclesiastes 3:15 we read: "What now is has already been, what is to be, already is, and God restores what would otherwise be displaced."
A friend told me that the meaning of "God restores" probably means that God allows no part of His creation to drop out of existence. What a
wonderfully intuitive person. I believe that now too. It keeps me going believing this
wonderful "truth."