New wheels give Westmount dog second chance at life

Click to play video: 'Jett-ing around' Jett-ing around
WATCH ABOVE: A Montreal couple buys their dog, Jett, a doggie wheelchair to help him get around. As Global's Billy Shields reports, Jett lost the use of his hind legs due to an abnormal growth on his spine – Aug 17, 2016

Jett is an 11-year-old miniature schnauzer and like a lot of terriers, he’s stubborn.

“He doesn’t like to be manhandled much,” said owner Claude David. “He likes to do things his own way.”

Jett’s stubbornness was met with the ultimate test about three weeks ago when he struggled to jump onto the couch and began swaying when he walked.

David and his wife, Mary Rivard, realized he had a serious problem and an MRI confirmed the pooch had an inoperable neurological disorder.

“They told us that his spine was fused from the disk, and that it was not possible,” David explained.

“So, consequently from that point on we’re trying to make things easy for him.”

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With Jett losing the ability to use his hind legs, the pair bought him a set of wheels they found on eBay for under $300.

After a few days of getting used to his new wheels, the dog was back to chasing squirrels.

Now, he can keep up with the pair’s other two dogs, Maxx and Will, in the park and on the sidewalk.

The reaction from neighbours has been mostly positive, the couple said.

But some of the people who encounter the dog believe the pair should have put him to sleep, raising the question of whether giving an ailing dog wheels would only prolong its suffering.

It’s a question veterinarians grapple with occasionally.

“Depending on the reason, the wheelchair, it can be amazing,” said Dr. Nina Gauthier, of the Timberlea Veterinary Clinic in Kirkland.

Gauthier explained if Jett can get a feel for his new life on wheels, he should be able to keep rolling without any further problems.

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