Friday, February 26, 2010

Diaper Wearing Wheelchair Bound Pug

Duncan: He plods around in his wheelchair with a runny nose, wears diapers, bumps into stuff and sleeps lots--stapled butt in the air and head buried in his heating pad.

It's not easy being a handicapped 13 year old pug.

Surrounded by lots of love, the increasingly frail and tired little guy hangs on. He and fellow pug, Reiley, are very close. Reiley will just sit there allowing Duncan to incessantly lick his face and body every chance he gets.

Besides love, feeding time is a joy he still relishes as he gobbles his wet food with gusto, leaving much of it smeared on his face. He'll swallow hard treats almost whole and can't chew very well so he's now limited to only the soft stuff. When hungry before his breakfast and dinner, he'll yelp like a hoarse seal. When not eating he sleeps or combs the yard for poop with an ability to uncover the most miniscule nugget hidden in the grass. Although lately he seems a bit too foggy to engage in this repulsive pursuit.

Like too many pugs Duncan is the victim of shamefully exploitive breeding. His spine, after two operations and extensive rehab has continued to degenerate. Over the past few years his hind legs slowly failed him as he was rendered incontinent. Sharon delayed getting him wheels because they would surely have eliminated what little strength and movement remained in his hind quarters.

It was remarkable to see how his spirit and vigor returned when he got his wheels almost a year ago. Until that time I had only known him as handicapped, slowly dragging along, chest and front legs getting stronger as the rest of him weakened. He had his good days where his legs seemed to work pretty well, and others where he could barely get around.
The moment he got his wheelchair, little 10 lb. duncan was on Red Bull, zipping around the yard like a bumper car gone wild. No training or treats were needed, he just zigged and zagged like he was born on wheels. He even devised a way of sleeping while in the wheelchair and it's actually better for his delicate, sore-ridden, stapled buttocks to remain elevated. When it's warm outside he'll bake in the therapeutic sun for hours. When the early evening chill sets in, he does his seal yelp and demands to be reunited with his heating pad.
Through it all Duncan has it pretty good: big yard, warm climate, caring mom (Sharon) and his doggy mates Reiley, little Sophie and Muffin--who ignores or growls at him--and his 2 coveted meals. He's also been battling reoccurring urinary tract infections but his determined little spirit propels him onwards.


Anonymous said...

Touching and well written. Thanks for sharing a part of Duncan's tale.

Anonymous said...

Strong images of precious dogs.



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