Category Archives: special needs

Kandu, the two-legged dog

There are special needs dogs and the special people who take care of them.  Today, I’m sharing the story of Kandu, a Jack Russell who was born without his front legs.

Kandu’s initial owner thought that he should be euthanised but a welfare agency put out the call for owners willing to take on a special needs dog and the rest, as they say, is history.    Kandu is fitted with a special cart that allows him to run and play like all other dogs and he even has a special snowboard for winter play.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

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Faith the dog

I’m very interested in special needs dogs.  These dogs often have physical limitations that can be assisted with massage, acupressure and laser treatments (which I can provide).

In my research on special needs dogs, I have come across the story of Faith – a biped dog who was born with her front legs so deformed that she was unable to walk on them.  (of added interest, my sister’s name is Faith)

Faith the dog

Faith the Dog’s website isn’t the most professional I’ve seen, but it certainly tells a heartwarming story of a dog that was going to be killed by its mother and was saved by a young man.  Despite recommendations that Faith be put down, her adoptive family persisted and trained her to walk on her hind legs using treats like peanut butter.  Faith is now a loyal family pet who also serves as a therapy dog.

Faith’s story has been told on the Oprah Winfrey Show.  Watch the Oprah segment here.

So now you know why Faith’s story carries the byline Hope and Love on Two Legs!

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

Helping service dogs

Engineering students at Northeastern University (my alma mater) are working to design a product that will help service dogs.

Initially, the first-year engineering students were given an assignment to submit a design for an apparatus that would help service dogs to do their job.  This required the students to research what gear was already available and in use.

After submitting designs for things like an apparatus that would help a service dog pull a wheelchair in a straight line, the students felt there was unfinished business.  Working with their faculty sponsor and the University’s Centre of Community Service, these students are now pursuing product design and development in their spare time.

Read The Boston Globe’s story on this project.

Watch the video.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

Special needs pets

On Friday evening, Prime showed a BBC documentary on owners of special needs pets.  It was great to see this issue being covered on New Zealand television because there are owners here who need support as they care for special needs pets.  I love working with special needs dogs in my massage practice and the owners of these animals are special people, too.

This is  Ollie, a Dalmatian who is unable to walk on his own.  However, he is not in pain and is very alert and happy.  His therapy regime includes massage and acupressure, laser therapy, and regular acupuncture treatments.  His strength in his front legs is improving and he has a mobility cart to help him with rehab.

Ollie in his mobility cart.

Ollie’s mobility cart was purchased from Doggon’ Wheels and imported into New Zealand because his owner could not find a supplier locally.  We measured Ollie for his cart and the cart was made especially for these measurements.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand