Paralysed Newport dog takes to her wheelchair
9:50am Friday 22nd January 2010 in Video
WHEN Heidie the German shepherd suffered a stroke two years ago, her owners thought she would never walk again.
For six months, owners Stan and Lizzie Fawcett, of Manor Park, Newport, carried their dog around because she had lost the use of her back legs.
But the couple found an imaginative solution for their house-bond pet - a wheelchair for dogs.
Fifteen-year-old Heidie now gets around with the help of a two-wheeled "doggie walker" which suspends her back legs in the air, allowing the dog to walk on her front legs.
Mr Fawcett bought the gadget on the internet for around £110 after it was recommended by vet Graham Blow, from Bridge Veterinary Centre in High Cross.
Mr and Mrs Fawcett had tried other methods of improving Heidie's mobility, including a year of acupuncture and walking therapy costing a total of around £500.
But neither of these options helped Heidie and it was the doggie walker which finally allowed her to walk around for 10 minutes at a time.
"The doggie walker has been a blessing," said Mr Fawcett, 45.
"It's given Heidie her mobility back. She's become a bit of a local celebrity round here too."
And it's not just in Newport where Heidie is a celebrity.
The German Shepherd has her own YouTube channel called HeidieVision, screening videos of the much-loved pet getting out and about in Tredegar Park.
Mr Fawcett added: "There must be so many people out there struggling to take care of older dogs, and maybe this can give them hope."