‘He gets to be himself’: Paralyzed Cape Breton dog given new lease on life
A paralyzed Bernese mountain dog in Reserve Mines, N.S., has been given a second chance thanks to the kindness of strangers and a specially made wheelchair
Eight-year-old Mac became parlayed in October and lost the use of his back legs.
“It was terrible seeing him just lay there all the time,” says Mac’s owner, Larry Vaters. “Being realistic, I thought it was getting to the point where we might have to make a decision.”
But putting Mac down was not an option on the Vaters was ready for.
“My young fella bought him as a pup and I've been going out with him every day since he took him home, sometimes seven, eight times a day. When he got sick, we still took him out, carried him out the door and back in again,” says family member Basil Vaters.
That changed in December when the family discovered Gunner's Wheels, a foundation in the United States that specializes in mobility equipment for animals.
They sent Mac a wheelchair, and he's been rolling ever since.
“He's gone from just laying downstairs not really doing anything, not really wanting to do anything, to now he wants to go all the time,” Larry Vaters says.
Mac received his new set of wheels on Boxing Day. Since then he's received a ton of attention from the Reserve Mines community, with some families inquiring about his new wheels.
“People driving down the highway here are honking their horns, people at Tim Hortons will come out and give him stuff. He loves it,” says Larry Vaters. “He gets to be himself. He was never a dog to stay by himself, he's always been a people dog.”
Mac has gained 10 pounds of muscle since his wheels arrived, and Vaters says their veterinarian thinks there is even hope he may get feeling back in his legs and walking again.
“There's a harness that goes around his neck. It clips into the rails, then his legs go through the back. The weight distribution is really good. It's easy for him.”
But Mac's owner is just happy to see Mac back on his feet again.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kyle Moore.