(WBIR-Knoxville) When a Fentress County woman found out a dog could be euthanized because of his deformity, she took him in. Now, the 7-month-old chihuahua is getting his chance to walk straight.
Scooter was born with shorter legs in the front than in the back. When he walks, he scoots across the floor, which is how Linda Boehmer came up with his name.
On Thursday, the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine fitted Scooter for his front wheel cart. The front cart takes pressure off his front legs and his back.
"Chihuahua's can be born without front limbs or partial front limbs. It's a defect that comes at birth. Instead of having them walk on these partial limbs or walking upright, having an assisted device such as a front cart seems to be the best way to keep them in a normal functional position," said Dr. Marti Drum, UT clinical assistant professor.
According to Dr. Drum, it will take Scooter some time to get used to his new set of wheels. Drum recommends Scooter spend multiple times each day inside the cart but in small doses.
Veterinary Technician Erin Wood said this is another example of why people do not have to euthanize dogs with disabilities.
"Unfortunately I get a lot of phone calls, especially when it has to do with a broken leg or something like that. I personally own a dog that has an amputation and she only has three legs and she would never know," Wood said.
Boehmer hopes Scooter's story will inspire her granddaughter and great-granddaughter.
"They have Ehlers–Danlos syndrome. It's a connective tissue disease and eventually I have a feeling that my granddaughter will be in a wheelchair," Boehmer said.
Boehmer said her granddaughter has already bonded with Scooter.
The family is hoping Scooter can become a therapy dog once he turns one year old.