Buddha is a 13 year old pug who has had Degenerative Myelopathy, seizures, incontinence and arthritis.
Degenerative Myelopathy is a progressive disease of the spinal cord that means that he is slowly losing the ability to use his back legs. For the last three or four years he wobbles when he walks, drags the top of his feet along the ground which has rubbed the top of his feet raw at times and at worst simply falls over and is unable to pick himself back up.
There isn't a cure for what he has and he isn't in any pain from the Degenerative Myelopathy. He probably experiences more pain from the falling and foot dragging than from his Degenerative Myelopathy. The best we can do is make the most of the function he has left and make his last years as enjoyable as possible. There are options for him to undergo physical therapy and hydrotherapy to make the most of the mobility he has remaining so any money we raise beyond the cost of the wheelchair will go towards other ongoing medical expenses he has.
In May of this year we were able to get a wheelchair made for him and for the first time in many, many years he was able to run and keep up with our other dog again. He went from barely making it through a short walk without stumbling and falling over to easily taking 2-3 mile walks again. It.Was.Awesome.
Then on September 13th as I went to take him out for his evening walk his wheelchair was stolen from right in front of our house. It's hard for me to carry him AND his chair and the two leashes and bring the other dog downstairs at the same time so I usually get the chair in position at the bottom of the stairs and carry him right down so he can go directly into the chair when we get to the bottom step, but in the time between me putting the chair on the bottom step, running back up the stairs and grabbing him and going back down the steps again the chair and both of our leashes were gone.
I put both dogs in my car and drove all over asking everyone I saw if they had seen someone running through the area with a weird looking red metal contraption (I quickly realized that most people have never seen a dog wheelchair so asking about a dog wheelchair got a lot of confused looks). No one had seen it though. and the cart had only been left along for two minutes at most so our best guess is that someone drove up, saw the cart, grabbed it and drove off.
I'd like to get a new cart for him, but they aren't cheap. His will be about $400 after shipping, but the great thing about the company that we used for his original one is that it ships quickly so it's possible for him to have a new one soon.
I filed a police report with the SF police (Case #150805219) and have put signs up offering a reward. The SF police department has also offered to circulate fliers to the entire department to do what they can to help recover his cart so IF we get lucky enough to get his original cart back and don't need to purchase a new one we'll the money raised here towards the reward offered to the person finding/returning it.
Thanks so much for your help getting Buddha up and moving again!
WOW... There are not words enough to thank the citizens of this incredible city along with our friends, coworkers and family for the outpouring of love and support we have gotten! We have reached our goal of replacing Buddha's wheelchair and with the donations we have received above and beyond the cost of the chair we are looking into getting Buddha more extensive treatment at The Rex Center in Pacifica.
We moved to this city two years ago without knowing a single soul. Today I feel surrounded by such a loving community. Thank you all. My gratitude is immeasurable.