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Friday, April 27, 2012

'He wakes up happy every day': Meet Roosevelt the collie who uses a wheelchair after being born with deformed front legs

By Daily Mail Reporter

Energetic: Roosevelt the collie relies on a custom-built wheelchair after he was born with deformed front legs. He was named after one of the most famous wheelchair users, President Franklin D. Roosevelt

He may have been forced to rely upon a wheelchair after contracting polio, yet President Franklin D. Roosevelt remained famously upbeat, using 'Happy Days Are Here Again' as his campaign song.

And, as well as his name, this positive outlook is something Roosevelt the collie dog has adopted - after he was born with deformed legs and also needs a wheelchair to get around.

His owner Stephanie Fox, from Portland, Maine, bought her pet the $900 custom-built two-wheel cart that straps underneath his body and stands in for his two front legs.

On a roll: Roosevelt, who has been trained to respond without a leash, walks ahead of owner Stephanie Fox

'People think he should have been put down because they think he’s suffering,' Fox told the Bangor Daily News in Maine. 'But he wakes up happy every day.'

Roosevelt only uses the wheelchair during longer walks, but relies on his exceptionally strong back legs while around the house. He is able to hop up steps and balances like a kangaroo.

But the wheels allow him to live up to his energetic and inquisitive breed, and he is trained to walk without a leash. 'It's a front-wheel drive,' Fox said.

Fox adopted Roosevelt from New England Border Collie Rescue three years ago when he was a puppy. From the outset she had a plan she knew would work and invested in the wheels.

Bounding ahead: While not on walks, Roosevelt relies on his strong back legs to hop around like a kangaroo

All in his stride: He can hop up steps and play with other dogs. 'He doesn't know he's different,' his owner said

'If you had a child with a disability you’d try to enrich them, give them opportunities,' she told the Daily News. 'So why not do the same with a dog?'

She added: 'The only difference between Roosevelt and other dogs is that instead of a collar, I snap on his wheels to take him out.'

Like his namesake, Roosevelt doesn't let his disability hold him back and bounds ahead on walks with other dogs and enjoys playing catch with his owner.

'He doesn't know he's any different,' she said.

Dogged enthusiasm: He bounds out of the $900 wheelchair after a walk. Fox adopted him three years ago

Woman's best friend: 'You'd give a disabled child opportunities, so why not a dog?' Stephanie Fox asked



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