By Sophie Norris
Incredibly cute footage reveals a paraplegic French bulldog’s trials and tribulations from struggling to play fetch while being unable to move her back legs to getting a puppy wheelchair – and using it to chase geese.
Rescue dog Luna suffered a spinal cord compression when she younger and has never been able to use her back legs since – instead dragging herself around with her front paws.
Touching footage shows the dog trying to jump for a treat but being stuck sat on her bum and being tormented by the family cat Tipsy as she is unable to give chase.
However when physiotherapy and acupuncture failed, owner Eli Mumm crowd-funded the $1,600 for the ‘adorable troublemaker’ to get a therapy cart that strengthens her back legs as she moves.
Eli, 31, recorded Luna’s transformation on film, from her first tentative steps to finally chasing local wildlife and even hopes that Luna will one day be able to walk on her own again.
Eli, from Denver, Colorado, said: “Luna damaged her back because of spinal cord compression, which means she’s not able to use her back legs.
“At first, we got her physiotherapy and acupuncture but she hates water and the acupuncture didn’t work.
“For me, it was okay if she didn’t walk again. I’ll still love her just as much.
“Before she got the new therapy cart, she just had a regular one and when I tried to tighten it up, the wheels kept popping off.
“Her little legs now strap to the pedals attached and the cart moves them in rhythm with the wheels.
“It’s the equivalent to her legs moving as if she were walking and over time it’ll strengthen them.
“Before she used to drag herself across the room, but now when she sees you she’ll run right up to you for some love and attention. She’s just like every other dog.
“Our favourite activity is going out together, whether that’s to the park where she chases geese or just for a walk.
“She’s always getting into trouble. She’s such a trouble maker.
“On the video of her walking down the path and climbing down the step, it’s her first time with the wheelchair.
“It’s only been a few days and she’s mastered it already. It did take a bit of getting used but after about five minutes of walking in the apartment, she’d done it
“She’s so confident and determined. I fully believe she’ll be able to walk again in the future.
“The prognosis is that there’s a 50/50 chance, but you never know. I’m staying hopeful.”
Luna might be enjoying Eli’s care in her new home, but she’ll never truly understand the secret behind their bond.
Just as Luna was a member of a military family who were forced to move away, Eli had travelled all over the world with her family, as her father was also in the military.
Eli said: “I totally 100 per cent understand why they had to give Luna up and I’m grateful I was able to get the opportunity to love her after that. I hope it helps her as well.
“When I fostered her, her family had been sent to Germany and could no longer take care of her so I said I’d take her on for a few weeks until we found another owner.
“It soon became clear that I was a terrible foster carer. I’m a bleeding heart and fell in love with her instantly and couldn’t stand to give her away.
“I didn’t think I’d be able to afford to save enough for a replacement mobility cart, but I managed to raise the money and through crowd-funding.
“A couple of members of her first family reached out to me and told me her story. They told me that she really loved people and her family and had gone everywhere with them in the past.
“She had the cutest little face when I found her at Rocky Mountain Puppy Rescue. I just kept reading about her online and I found out she was in a wheelchair and incontinent, but it didn’t matter to me.
“I also have a cat, Tipsy, who has Cerebellar Hypoplasia, which affects the cerebellum, the part of the brain in charge of coordination.
“If she sees Tipsy sat in the way, she’ll tap him until he moves.
“Tipsy walks like he’s drunk, hence the name.
“It’s just my personality to give everybody a chance.”