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.
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.
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.
“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.”
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.