'He's back to Mac now': Dog's new wheelchair gives family hope paralyzed pet could walk again

Larry Vaters says when his dog became paralyzed, putting him down was not an option, so he turned to an American foundation that helps provide mobility options for animals.

Eight-year-old Mac inexplicably lost the use of his back legs last October

Mac received his specialized wheelchair last December and has been rolling along ever since. (CBC)

A paralyzed Bernese mountain dog from Reserve Mines, N.S., has a new leash on life thanks to a specially made wheelchair.

Eight-year-old Mac inexplicably lost the use of his back legs in October 2017. 

Mac's owner, Larry Vaters, said when his dog became paralyzed, putting him down was not an option, so he turned to Gunner's Wheels, an American foundation that helps provide mobility options for animals.

Mac's owner, Larry Vaters, said putting him down was not an option. (CBC)

In December, the foundation sent a specialized wheelchair for Mac and he's been rolling ever since.

"He's gone from seeming like he's depressed, didn't want to do anything, didn't want to move. Now he's wanting to walk everywhere, going into stores to get Timbits, actually walking to the vet," said Vaters.

Muscle and confidence

He said the family dog has gained 4.5 kilograms of muscle, and lots of confidence.

Vaters' father, Basil, takes Mac out for a walk several times a day. Basil said people beep their horns and wave to the dog from their car.

He said the local veterinarian has told the family there is hope that Mac may get feeling in his hind legs and even walk again.

Mac goes out for a walk several times a day, and people often honk and wave from their cars. (CBC)

"She told me when the weather gets warmer to start putting his paws back on the ground a little bit. If his brain calls for his paws hitting the ground there is a possibility he could start walking," said Basil.

In the meantime, he said he's just happy to have Mac back to himself.

"For the last eight years, I've been taking him out every day. He's back to Mac now," said Basil.

Mac's owners are happy to have their dog back to his happy self. (CBC)