MEET Puffy – the paralysed dog who needs your help finding a new set of wheels.
The female Chinese Crested Powderpuff was struck by a car in a hit-and-run incident two years ago after she unexpectedly bolted and went missing.
Her owners, Mike and Danielle Cass, subsequently launched an appeal to find their beloved pet – but then the dreaded news came.
She was taken to Donnington Vets by the next car to come along, but an MRI scan later revealed that a disc in her spine had exploded into tiny fragments, destroying the nerve connection to her hind legs.
Puffy and her sister Cerisha were inherited by Mr and Mrs Cass after Mrs Cass’ mother Jo died from lung cancer.
Puffy has been living with the grade 5 spinal injury for two years, but now needs some help with her recovery.
Speaking to the Newbury Weekly News, Mr Cass said: “Puffy is so laid-back and submissive, loving nothing more than to have her tummy tickled for hours on end.
“If you try to stop, she’ll let you know she wants more with a knowing look and a tapping paw.”
He added: “Puffy was so happy to be home with her sister Ceri, that she escaped from the pen she was supposed to be resting in so they could cuddle up in a basket together.”
Mr and Mrs Cass had been taking Puffy for walks in a sling, but the distance she could go was limited.
They then switched to a doggy pram, but Puffy hated it, so Mr Cass’ father made her some home-made wheels from plastic plumbing, cart wheels and a harness.
“Puffy has been using these for nearly two years now and loves to be able to sniff and zoom about as she pleases,” Mr Cass said.
The makeshift harness puts a lot of pressure on her front shoulders, however, and vets have recommended a pedal cart to help Puffy’s rehabilitation and avoid muscle wastage.
But with a £1,500 price tag, Mr and Mrs Cass are asking for help to get Puffy a new set of wheels.
The appeal has so far raised £485 through donations from Puffy’s friends on Facebook, but time is running out.
Mr Cass said: “We created the crowdfunding page to allow her supporters to do this, but never thought we’d get anywhere near the total amount.
“We’ve been blown away by the support and donations we’ve received so far for Puffy’s Wheels Appeal.
“It would be a huge step in Puffy’s rehabilitation to have the new wheels, as currently her hind muscles only get used twice a week during her 30-minute hydro sessions at Aquatic Canine Therapy.”
To donate to Puffy’s Wheels visit http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/puffys-wheels
The fundraising page closes on Saturday afternoon.