Aparalyzed dachshund is back on his feet after receiving the perfect gift this holiday season—the chance to walk again.
Trey, who lives with his owners in College Corner, Ohio, lost the use of his hind legs back in October. The adorable young pup and his family have visited chiropractors and other specialists in the months since, hoping that some sensation would return.
“We honestly don’t know what happened to leave him paralyzed,” his owner Patty Rader said. “We left him unattended, which we have several times. We got home and noticed he wasn’t acting like his usual self.”
After a few days, they decided to take him to their veterinarian to find out what was wrong. “We could tell he was hurting,” Rader said, recalling how Trey was “whimpering and he didn’t want us to touch him.”
She said she initially thought he might have sustained a leg injury, having stepped on it funny. They never expected the vet to tell them their dog had been left paralyzed from his midback down.
According to figures published by the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine, spinal cord injuries are common among dogs and account for around 2 percent of all cases presented to a veterinarian.
While options are available to help dogs adapt to the challenges presented by injuries of this kind, it can still be a struggle, with pet owners often in need of help.
For Rader and her husband, that help came in the form of the “Letters to Chewy Claus” program, an initiative set up by Chewy, the online pet food and pet product retailer, over the holiday season.
The idea was simple: pet owners submit a holiday gift list for their four-legged friend via a pet-friendly website. Chewy Claus then reviews submissions to determine who has been naughty or nice and, ultimately, make their Christmas wish come true.
For Trey and his family, that wish was simply to walk again. “My mommy and daddy love me more than all the sand at all the beaches, but I know they are struggling,” Trey’s letter to Chewy Claus read [the letter was written by a friend of the Raders].
“What I really want for Christmas is to be able to run and play again but my heart tells me what I need are essentials for paralyzed pups like myself.”
More than 65,000 letters have already been submitted, with Chewy pledging to donate one pound of food to pets in need for every one sent. But while the competition may have been fierce, Trey’s plea did not go unanswered.
With December 25 fast approaching, he and his parents were surprised with their very own Christmas miracle: the gift of a wheelchair to get their beloved dachshund back up and running.
Footage of Trey taking his first tentative steps thanks to his new wheels was captured on camera by Chewy, with his owner, Rader, left understandably emotional at the prospect of her beloved dachshund returning to something approaching his old self.
“He’s such an amazing dog, and for him to be able to play and to be able to run outside. That is just going to be the most awesome feeling to actually see that,” she said.
“He is going to be able to run and chase—and hopefully he doesn’t taste the cat—but for him to be able to run and play and try to be the best of himself.”
As well as a wheelchair, Trey was also gifted an assortment of items designed to improve his quality of life, with Rader admitting they have been “truly blessed” to have received this kind of help. “We weren’t sure how we were going to actually come up with money to get him wheels,” she said. “It is so amazing.”
She’s now looking forward to having the Trey they know and love back enjoying his life again. “To know Trey is an absolute blessing,” Rader said. “He never meets a stranger. He loves everybody and he’ll kiss you and he won’t stop until you scold him for it. I would love for everybody to meet Trey, he’s amazing.”