The latest instalment of our weekly series dedicated to Alnwick-based dog rescue charity, SHAK.
I guess old age comes to us all. No matter how young we think we feel, the clock is always ticking and catches up to us in the end.
It’s no different for the dogs in our care, in fact it is amazing how certain ailments effect different breeds. The knowledge and experience you gain from helping one always comes in useful for helping another of the same breed with a similar condition.
I think everyone will have heard the expression ‘the back end has gone’ when talking about older German Shepherds. They suffer so many degenerative diseases, it so sad to see their back ends not working whilst the front end is still functioning perfectly.
Having owned the breed for years myself its something that I have had hands on experience with many times.
You may remember an article about Oscar looking for a home a few months ago. Unfortunately nothing materialised on the home side and his health has deteriorated around his back end. He still has so much fight and is a long way off giving up.
However, it must be so frustrating for him not being able to get his back legs doing quite what he wants them to do, then of course they get tangled and he falls down. It’s quite distressing to watch aswell as for him.
Like I said though, the experience we have here is a major asset and his condition reminded me of another German Shepherd we nursed called Doyle. To support him we bought a harness that we used to call his super hero underpants!
His legs go through the holes like you would a pair of shorts and velcro across his hips where there are two big handles to support him. Doyle loved them and they extended his life by months.
So on Sunday I decided to see if Oscar would embrace them with the same passion.
He gave me the grumble I expected when he was being dressed, but once on and he felt the support on his back legs, he was off like a bat out of hell. We had three walks that day, all so much more stress free for him and his confidence grew every time.
It’s amazing to see the new found freedom – we are all so proud of him and pleased we could help him. He deserves all the support we can give him.
There is a video of our first work on the SHAK Instagram page shak_sanctuary_official