NEWS AND VIEWS – WALES, UK: This is an uplifting story and we could do with more uplifting stories particularly when they involve animals. Hope is a disabled random-bred dog with a massive heart. And the story should give us heart that disabled animals and people can do wonderful things in the right environment and under the right circumstances.
Hope started her life by being abused and abandoned. She suffered crushed vertebrae which paralysed her and a dislocated hip. She’s needed a wheelchair to move around ever since. Yes, she is one of those dogs with wheels for hind legs which we see a lot of and which are often very successful.
Dogs compensate by building muscle in their chest and forelegs. Her owner, Kerry Rushton, who rescued her, says that “She’s put on 3 kg in muscle in the last couple of years. Her front end is incredibly strong.”
And she said that the bigger the hill, the more Hope thinks that she should climb it and face it as a challenge. This dog likes a challenge and as many dogs before her does not treat her disability as a disability. She is fully acclimatised to using the wheels as her back legs.
And today, as I am dictating this, Hope is climbing Mount Snowdon in Wales in her latest challenge. And the challenge is also to raise money. Rushton from Okehampton, Devon is raising funds for the charity that helped to save Hope, Glasgow-based Amanda’s Scottish Rescue Dogs. She’s already raised £1,500 which is more than double her target.
In the run-up to this incredible climb, videos show Hope clambering over rocky outcrops and racing over muddy fields. Rushton has a social media webpage which provides us with glimpses into how successful Hope is navigating rough terrain with her wheels.
And there are videos showing her in hydrotherapy sessions and gleefully chasing other dogs. Rushton told the BBC that disabled dogs can lead a normal life.
The pair started their climb up Mount Snowdon today at 5 AM and they hope to finish by midday which is in about one hour’s time. The time right now is 11 AM on Saturday, September 9, 2023.
Rushton admits that it can be difficult to care for a disabled dog. But she wouldn’t have it any other way. She said, “I don’t think anyone thinks, ‘I’d love all that extra work'”. But she says that if she’s in a position to help but nobody else will then she will help. And this is what happened with Hope.
Hope was abandoned without assistance and forced to drag yourself along rough terrain as a puppy which caused infections which were treated with antibiotics but she received so many antibiotics that they were beginning to become ineffectual.
Rushton said that “It was stressful, it was worrying and it was hard work”. Those were the early months during Hope’s recovery. And now she is receiving her reward with great publicity reflecting her excellent work.