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After our last gorgeous German Shepherd died 9 years ago we went along to Dogs Trust Newbury. They had just had in a stray saved from a death sentence in a police dog pound in Ireland. He came with no history, was about two years old and was friendly, but quite wild, he didn’t seem to have had any training at all. He was so skinny and had constant diarrhoea. We took him home, with some special food provided for his upset tummy. The first day home I was unpacking the shopping, left the kitchen for a moment, when I came back Paddy was halfway through a frozen pizza! Since then he’s put on 7 kg (not all from pizza) and maintained a healthy weight all his life. After 2 years of dog training and socialising classes (he was a slow learner!) we had a beautiful, friendly, food- and cuddle-loving dog.  We went for long, long walks every day, and even longer on our holidays.  He was my little shadow, following me everywhere, snoozing with me on the sofa and the bed. I say “was” because now he can’t get on the sofa or upstairs to the bed. We noticed him dragging his foot occasionally 2 years ago. Degenerative myelopathy was diagnosed last year, and with mobility and incontinence it has gone downhill pretty quickly. We had been trying to take him on short walks by half carrying him with a hoist for his rear end, so difficult, half a German Shepherd is very heavy to carry for any distance. I was reluctant to get a wheel cart, but my husband went ahead and ordered it, and I’m so glad he did. Though his walks are still short, he can go “off road” easily, sniff and stop and pee whenever he wants (which helps with leakage in the house) and is making loads of new friends, becoming a bit of a celebrity in the village in fact, as people are even stopping their cars to talk to us. He’s still our happy little dog—with wheels.

 - Ken and Liz
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