Walkin’ Wheels: taking it to the streets & trails

Since his broken leg in July of this year, 15-year-old Franklin has been progressing really well.  As you may recall, he broke his leg as a 4-year-old (jumping out of the back of a pickup truck in Idaho) and had to get surgery.  He has done well all of his life with a plate and 10 screws stabilizing his leg.  This past January, however, after nearly 11 years with the hardware, his body started to reject it.  The orthopedic veterinarian recommended daily antibiotics over surgery because of his age.  He did well for about 5 months with the antibiotics until one day in July when he hopped out of the back of the Subaru in the driveway and re-fractured his leg, likely partly because of the loose hardware.

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First trail outing after a month of practicing in the neighborhood:  Shoreline Trail near the Natural History Museum, Salt Lake City

We purchased a Walkin’ Wheels wheelchair for Franklin on Amazon that same week, and he took off strolling from day 1.  We are now up to at least two half-mile walks per day, and sometimes have even gone over a mile.

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(l to r) Watson, Charlotte, and Franklin on the Summit Park trails

Franklin’s progress is so positive and he is such a happy dog, that I’ve decided to bring some awareness to handicapped, older pets by getting him out even farther from home.  We load up the wheelchair in the Subaru and head out to the trails or the park.  We have done walks in the public park near our house, on the trails in the foothills of Salt Lake City, and even on some of the trails in Park City.  Franklin even took his wheelchair into the pond at Summit Park one hot day a few weeks ago.  I love seeing the reactions on people’s faces when they see us:  “How wonderful!” and “Look how good he’s doing!  He is so happy,” are some of the comments we have heard.

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Franklin enjoying the pond at Summit Park

You can typically see us strolling 1300 S in Salt Lake City, on our daily walks in the morning and evening.  I love watching the people in their cars on the commute, turning their heads when they see us.  It’s not something you see everyday:  a dog in a wheelchair.  The parking enforcement woman even stopped her Jeep to give the dogs treats a few mornings ago.

If you see us out and about, give a honk and a wave or stop to say hello.  We’d love to chat with you about Franklin’s wheelchair and how much freedom and happiness it has brought to our lives.

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Franklin (l) and Charlotte (r) on the I-Street Shoreline trail above Salt Lake City

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