Kristin Leydig Bryant, co-author of Honey, Have You Squeezed the Dachshund? on doxies doing all the doggy things that dogs do, even after an IVDD diagnosis.
When new visitors see my current pair of IVDD paraplegic dogs, they often exclaim, “Wow! They are FAST!”
Every paraplegic dog I’ve owned or fostered has been fast.
Tabby, my first, loved to fetch a ball. Over and over and over.
Jack, my second, was a successful backyard hunter. He would set up an evening ambush and leap out at just the right time to grab the mice that lived in the wood pile.
Paris would scoot to meet any guest, especially children, at the door.
Luke (bad boy) would run after visitors who were leaving to nip at the backs of their legs.
Holden, my last foster (recently adopted), would glide across the hardwood floors after any squeaky toy. His new mom and dad post videos of him on Instagram doing that at their house:
Pippi (aka Quarter Pounder With Cheese), my current teeny foster dog with DREAM Dachshund Rescue, chases my backyard chickens. She recently caught one, and we had to rescue it (thankfully, the chicken wasn’t injured.) Pippi was triumphant and swaggered around the rest of the afternoon.
Dogs who lose the use of their hind legs don’t lose their doggie-ness. Their front legs work overtime, and they can get around fine without those rear legs.
A wheelchair is fun for walkies, but they don’t need or want it inside. As long as they are on smooth surfaces like grass, hardwood floors, and you’re keeping an eye on their bellies and legs for abrasions, they can have a normal life just like any other dog.
A paraplegic dog has a different life, but it can still be a great life.
Kristin Leydig Bryant is a well-known authority on IVDD in the Atlanta area. Along with Dr. Adam Christman, she released Honey, Have You Squeezed the Dachshund? to share her practical knowledge of caring for pets that are either at risk for or have developed IVDD. She began volunteering with dachshund rescue in 2002, and in 2004 she agreed to foster her first “down” dachshund. Kristin found that she loved working with these dogs, and over the next few years, she became the IVDD “go-to” person at DREAM Dachshund Rescue. She has fostered many other dogs with IVDD, and coached hundreds of people virtually and in person on caring for dachshunds with IVDD.