What sort of person steals a dog’s wheelchair? That’s what Rhode Island resident, Marilyn Proulx must have been wondering when she discovered that her dog, Jack’s wheelchair was missing from the side of her house last Tuesday.
Jack, a 13-year-old lab and shepherd mix lost the use of his rear legs due to two herniated discs. The specialized wheelchair allowed him to not just walk, but run to his heart’s content. Without it Marilyn must use a sling to assist Jack with mobility. It’s hard on Marilyn and Jack.
Having reported the theft to police, Marilyn was delighted to discover the generosity of strangers. A number of New England news channels picked up the story. As word spread, offers of wheelchair replacements came pouring in.
A company called Handicapped Pets offered to donate a new, custom-made wheelchair to Jack. Less than 24 hours after the news broke, Keith Downs and David Holtzen saw the report about Jack on a local station. Having lost their handicapped dog Gil a year ago, they knew the doggie wheelchair sitting in their garage may have found a new home. They contacted Marilyn and offered to donate the chair to Jack.
As it turns out, Gil’s chair was manufactured by the same company — Eddie’s Wheels — as Jack’s stolen wheelchair. They brought the chair for Jack to try on and found it to be a near-perfect fit. Jack is once again ambulating independently.
It should be noted that Eddie’s Wheels also offered to replace Jack’s wheelchair at no cost but Jack decided to accept Gil’s old wheelchair instead. Good dog; gotta’ recycle!
Thank you to everyone who called and offered to help Jack get another wheelchair. Now, if police can find the thief… it would be a happy ending indeed.