By Niamh Shackleton
A disabled Goldendoodle has been caught living his best life thanks to his wheelchair.
Pooch Josh, who is just two-years- old, was diagnosed with Cerebellar hypoplasia – also known as wobbly animal syndrome – causing part of his brain that controls his motor function to be underdeveloped.
Owner, Kim Elliott, 39, from Arizona, USA, wasn’t put off by Josh’s disability when her and her husband, Andrew Hangartner, 35, decided to foster him from a local rescue centre.
Josh travels around with his adopted parents which includes going on hikes, visiting his favourite beaches and camping too.
Kim, a personal trainer, said: “I had seen that a nearby rescue centre needed a foster home for a Goldendoodle and immediately got in touch.
“I had tonnes of fostering experience but none with special needs, so I knew Josh would be a new challenge.
“I didn’t even care that he had a disability though; I just felt it in my heart that this opportunity was meant for us.
“But I was scared and overwhelmed as I had no clue how to care for him, but I just went for it anyway and I’m so glad I did.”
Since fostering Josh, Kim got him a wheelchair so her four-legged best friend can live his best life.
Kim added: “Josh’s Instagram page properly represents his life – he’s having a blast.
“He goes camping, hiking, to the beach, on road trips, lakes, the snow… You name it, he has experienced it!
“He’s perfectly healthy as his mobility challenges come from the bad wiring in his brain, not his joints – he isn’t in any pain.
“Josh never shows signs of frustration and he’s pretty much happy all the time.
“He loves all people, all dogs, cats, kids, birds, he’s very outgoing and confident.”
Despite loving having Josh as a pet, Kim explained that having a disabled animal isn’t always easy.
She added: “Having a pet with a disability can be difficult for many reasons: I would say our main challenges are providing constant enrichment for him – exercise and stimulation to keep him moving and staying strong.
“He has a tendency to be inactive if we aren’t actively assisting him and as his case is quite severe, he needs assistance from us to eat, drink, and walk.
“The most important this that Josh has taught me is to be grateful for everything that I have and to celebrate my life despite any challenges that I face.
“We wouldn’t change him for the world.”