Uncertain future for dog in need of wheelchair

By Julia Proverbs


Bronwyn Miller would be lost without her fluffy, white companion Bear.

But she fears she will have to have the loyal Samoyed, which she rescued from the pound five years ago, euthanased because she can not afford the expensive dog wheelchair that he needs.

Bear suffers from a degenerative nerve condition that Ms Miller describes as "dog multiple sclerosis".

She estimates that within a year the 30kg dog will lose the use of his back legs and she will be unable to care for him because he is too heavy to lift.

Ms Miller also suffers from a nerve disease, adrenoleukodystrophy (ADL), that affects the strength in her legs, and lupus erythematosus, a collection of autoimmune diseases.

On an invalid's benefit, she is unable to raise the $1000 needed for a dog wheelchair.

"He's slowly losing power in his back legs. Eventually his legs will go," she said.

Bear, who is thought to be between 10 and 13 years old, was taken in by Ms Miller after he was found wandering with a matted coat and overgrown claws.

It took two weeks of grooming to return him to his former glory.

"He came fully trained. He's had a good life and something went wrong," she said.

Well known around the neighbourhood, Bear, who wears leather boots to protect his sensitive feet, is taken on a daily walk to Kulim Park.

"He loves kids and everybody and he likes cats," Ms Miller said.

He has also accompanied Ms Miller when she has collected for various charities.

"On Christmas Day he usually goes to the park in a Santa hat," she said.

She hopes that with a wheelchair the pair can continue their walks and their lives together.

"If his legs eventually go on him that's it."

If you think you can help, email us.

- Bay of Plenty Times

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter


Sort by
  • Oldest

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf04 at 01 May 2017 06:04:08 Processing Time: 627ms