Wheelchair that rejuvenated paralyzed dog in Cape Breton headed to N.B.
A paralyzed Bernese mountain dog in Cape Breton -- given a second chance at life -- has died.
Mac captured hearts and was given mobility in his final months thanks to a specialized wheelchair.
That technology will now help another four-legged friend.
Mac became a regular on a stretch of road in Reserve Mines, one that’s looking a little deserted these days. On any given day you would find Basil Vaters and his nine year-old Bernese Mountain Dog Mac rolling down the sidewalk, but for the past two weeks that hasn't been the case.
“He passed away on Aug. 15,” Vaters said. “The tumour just got a little too much for him and he just couldn’t handle it anymore.”
It was in October of last year that Mac became paralyzed and lost the use of his back legs.
Vaters says the vet told him the tumour may have been the cause of his paralysis.
At the time the family discovered Gunnar’s Wheels, a foundation in the United States that specializes in mobility equipment for animals.
“It gave Mac a second chance in life,” Vaters said. “We got seven or eight months out of him with the wheel chairs. He actually wore out a set of tires on it.”
During that time Mac became a hit with neighbours and people in the community.
“I think people knew the dog more than they knew Basil at times,” said neighbor Jack Crocker. “He was a monument in this little community, I can tell you that.”
Although Mac no longer patrols the streets here in Reserve Mines, his legacy will live on through the wheels that made him happy during his final months.
Vaters says the family was contacted by Gunnar’s Wheels and has paid it forward by sending the wheelchair to another Bernese mountain dog in New Brunswick.
“We had to send a picture and write up on Mac and Gunnar's Wheels told us this wheelchair will now be in memory of Mac from now on,” Vaters said. “It will go on and on to different dogs as they need it.”
Despite the kind gesture, Vaters says it still hurts losing an animal that was a big part of the family and the community.
“I use to give him a treat and give him a little scratch on the head and he got to know me. He was a beautiful dog,” Crocker said.
Vaters feels Mac is now at peace and has found his forever home on the family’s property.
“Mac’s life will always live on to me. Every time I see another dog, I think of Mac," Vaters said.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kyle Moore.