A 13-year-old wheelchair-bound dog in Hong Kong is about to become a worldwide star after earning a spot in an international pet calendar.
Diagnosed with an incurable neuron condition called canine degenerative myelopathy nine months ago, the mixed-breed dog was given a wheelchair by her owners so she can remain mobile. The beloved family pet will be one of the cute furry stars to be featured in the Walkin’ Wheels 2017 calendar.
Hong Kong-based Australian couple Sandra and Nigel Snell, the proud owners of Tessa, said that their pet’s condition is an incurable neuron disease that caused the paralysis of her hind legs.
To help Tessa “walk” properly, the pair tried to place her on a makeshift wheelchair which seemed comfortable enough for their aged pet.
With the help of the chair’s wheels, Tessa is still able to move around freely by using her front legs and just letting the wheels roll at the back.
According to Sandra, during Tessa’s younger and healthier years, the energetic pet was their regular outdoor companion.
“She still has this passion to be outdoors, so we decided it was up to us to make her mobile again,” Mrs. Snell said. “She is now able to continue to be mobile and enjoy all the things she likes.”
Tessa’s entry into to contest was actually accidental, according to Nigel Snell.
“We were sending pictures to the wheelchair company to ask some questions, but when they saw Tessa, we were encouraged to send pictures of her to enter the competition,” he said.
The Snells reportedly found Tessa, an abandoned puppy in Tai Tam, 13 years ago.
“When we saw her little tiny nose and her brown eyes, we felt like we had to take her,” Mr. Snell said.
Mrs. Snell is hoping that Tessa’s new-found popularity and inspiring story will create awareness for pets with disabilities.
“As opposed to putting their sick dogs to sleep, I hope people realise that dogs can be given a second chance at having a good life,” she said.
Mr. Snell pointed out that mixed-breed dogs are often neglected in Hong Kong. So far, the Snell family has adopted five abandoned mixed breed dogs in Hong Kong.
“Sometimes people ship pet dogs in from overseas,” Mr. Snell said, “But there are so many beautiful dogs here in Hong Kong who need a home.”