West Island dog uses special set of wheels to help him get around

Click to play video 'West Island dog thrives with new set of wheels' West Island dog thrives with new set of wheels
WATCH: A West Island dog has been turning heads. Tyson is an 11-year-old disabled dog, but thanks to his shiny accessory, his owners say he isn't slowing down anytime soon. Global’s Felicia Parrillo reports – Dec 28, 2020

Tyson is a happy, curious and courageous canine, a boxer — hence his name. But he is not like other boxers — the 11-year-old pup is disabled.

Yet, thanks to his wheelchair, Tyson is able to get around, just like other dogs.

READ MORE: Therapy dogs soothing patients at the Montreal Neurological Institute

A few years ago, Tyson suffered a knee injury.

After wearing a brace for about a year and a half, his leg started to bother him again, and eventually wore out.

Soon after that, the other leg went as well.

“In March, right in the beginning of the pandemic, it became apparent to us that he was going to lose the ability to walk, and so, we were faced with the choice of what to do,” said Darlene Phair, Tyson’s owner.

Story continues below advertisement

READ MORE: Westmount dog receives wheelchair from neighbour

So Phair and her husband did some research and found Handicapped Pets Canada. It is an organization based in British Columbia that sells products for disabled animals.

Phair ordered their walking wheels — a doggy wheelchair.

The product is customizable and can be used for all kinds of animals — from cats, to bunnies and even goats.

“All too many times we hear that vets are recommending that the dog be euthanized or put down and really, they still have all the love to give and the front end is still mobile and quite often the back end is still mobile as well,” said Andrew Phillips, owner of Handicapped Pets Canada.

Phair says it took Tyson just a few days to get used to the new accessory, but overall has adapted pretty well.

Though his routine has changed quite a bit, his family has helped him through the transition.

READ MORE: Montreal-based company spreads puppy love, but not everyone is convinced

“Because he has wheels now, he’s very unaware of the rules of the road,” Phair said, while laughing. “And so I have to watch or else he’s trotting right down the middle.”

Story continues below advertisement

And as he trots, Tyson often gets a lot of looks. His family says he’s become quite the neighbourhood celebrity.

“For the people that kind of look and feel sorry for him, I feel the need to explain — he’s not a sick dog, he’s not an ill dog, he is a dog that has a disability,” she said.