Wheelchair with skis provides quality of life for Milton dog

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Shelly Birkelo
Wednesday, March 12, 2014

MILTON—At first, Kadee Mae just stood there.

Her owner, Shiela Lund, coaxed her with  treats, and her sister Bootsie barked in an apparent effort to get her to move.

“When I get her moving in it and go further out, she'll come on her own,” Lund said.

Kadee Mae is still getting used to her new wheelchair, which now has skis for getting around in the snow.

The cart arrived a month ago, but it took Lund about two weeks to get it correctly adjusted to Kadee Mae's height.

The 30-inch skis, which Lund can easily clamp on as needed, arrived 10 days ago.

“She does quite well, but we haven't been able to get out very much with it,” Lund said.

Kadee Mae, a 10-year-old border collie, in mid-January came into the house dragging her legs and butt. After several trips to the veterinarian and a specialist, Lund learned a piece of bone had broken in Kadee Mae's back, resulting in back-end paralysis.

Otherwise, Kadee Mae is healthy. She's still energetic, happy and smart. She just can't walk. Lund ordered a wheelchair so Kadee Mae could run and play again.

But to get around well this winter, Kadee Mae needed skis, not wheels. After an email request, Sue and Larry Warwick of Fort Atkinson supplied the skis. They volunteer with Lund at Friends of Noah, an all-breed animal rescue.

The skis were shortened and shipped to Eddie's Wheels in Shelburne, Mass., where for $700 they were modified to fit Kadee Mae's cart.

Lund didn't know skis on a dog wheelchair were a possibility until after some research.

"I needed to see what I could do to make her life enjoyable and mobile again," she said.

Before the skis arrived, Lund was shoveling paths behind her John Paul Road home so Kadee Mae could wheel around. Through physical therapy, Kadee Mae has regained strength in her right leg.

Now, Kadee Mae and her sisters—border collie's Bootsie and Annabella--can have a doggone good time.

“It's wonderful” and well worth the investment, Lund said.

“When she realized she could move and have her freedom again, you could see the joy. Now she's going to be able to get back on our walks of two to three miles a day, which is a big factor in bringing her a quality of life.”

Last updated: 5:17 pm Wednesday, March 12, 2014

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