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Meet Chip, a doggone high roller
And off he went.
"Chip seemed to know what to do right away and he was gone," said the owner of the 13.5-year-old German Shepherd cross, Becky Sanesh.
Chip was fitted Oct. 17 for a special doggy wheelchair.
"Once it was done he took off with his stub wagging. Several tears were shed... Chip was so happy."
Duncan Animal Hospital's Jessica Lemke recently assisted Sanesh in researching and sourcing out a chair for Chip.
The pooch, who will be 14 in January, was losing mobility in his back-end quickly and has very little feeling if any in his back legs, explained his owner.
"I was on the verge of putting Chip down. It had been discussed with the vet that when he could no longer get up he would be put down."
Sanesh had some blood work done on her companion as well, and the tests turned out good.
"This made the decision even harder to consider. I sat with it for a few days and called Dr. Gillian Wiley and discussed a wheelchair option with her and asked what she thought.
"She said it was a great idea since he is otherwise healthy."
Sanesh got Chip from the SPCA in 2000. He was about six months old and had been rescued by the local branch.
"His tail had been docked and he was starving and found on a local beach somewhere with his brother Dale," Sanesh said.
Chip's an extremely loyal dog and very patient with her granddaughter.
"He loves to sleep in my bedroom but that requires climbing stairs. After several falls down the stairs he now waits for me to help him up, and I guide his back legs while he climbs with his front legs."
Before Sanesh looked into a wheelchair, Chip was steadily becoming depressed.
"The day before we put him in the wheelchair he had stopped eating," said Sanesh.
"I used to take him for long walks very regularly and for the past year he hasn’t been able to go."
Both Duncan Animal Hospital's Wiley and Lemke knew the wheelchair was the answer for Chip.
"He was a perfect candidate," said Lemke, who worked at a clinic in Edmonton that specialized in animal orthopedics. "He had the desire and ability to walk on his front end."
The chair, which cost about $430 US (no duty or taxes), was ordered through www.doggon.com and came from Hawaii.
And when Chip passes away, Sanesh is looking at getting "In loving memory of Chip" engraved on the chair and donating it to the Duncan Animal Hospital so they can pass it along to another dog in need.
"Chip is so happy to be able to go on his walks again and if I get another six months with him I would be extremely grateful," she said. "Of course I am hoping for a lot longer as he is an incredible dog and has given me so much over the years. It’s the least I could do for him."
Sanesh couldn't begin to say how thankful she is for the folks at Duncan Animal Hospital.
"It was very heartwarming," said Wiley. "It brought tears to all of our eyes and we all had goose pimples."