Harrison the Beagle

At the off leash parks every visit can be an adventure. I had no idea one morning what I was about to witness. The park was fairly quiet; there were maybe five dogs with their owners.

In the distance we could hear a beagle howling in the parking lot with much enthusiasm; it was obviously very happy to be reaching a loved destination. All of a sudden the dogs looked towards the gate drawing our attention to the new guest. What we observed had our jaws hanging open in amazement, followed by smiles all around.

This beagle came running into the field not on all four legs, but only using his front two. His hind legs were strapped into a cart with wheels. As he came closer all the other dogs just stood and watched him. No hackles went up on any of the dogs, or behaviour to challenge this unique little guy. Some regular smelling front and back occurred and the dogs resumed their regular park behaviour.

He ran for a ball being thrown and we watched with delight seeing him going full tilt on his custom set of wheels! He would return with the ball in his mouth and go again and again. Howling was part of his exercise too, breaking us into laughter and smiles.

The owners were fascinated by the beagle’s situation and we were soon filled in. His owner, Melissa, told us that his name was Harrison. In 2010 he slipped a disc in his back and was paralyzed from the waist down; this emergency can sometimes occur with beagles. Odds were fifty to sixty per cent that he would regain the use of his hind legs after surgery. He had the surgery to prevent things from being even worse and to this day he is unable to walk but is not in any pain or on any medication. He is happy and healthy and Melissa and Rob are glad that he is present in their lives and hope he will be with them another six years.

I asked about his medical costs and, although they were very high her extraordinary love for her dog prevailed. This encounter had us all thinking about what we would do if similar circumstances arose for our family dog. I wondered about my limitations, ethics and values if I was presented with such a curve ball.

I was curious as to what reactions Melissa receives when she and Harrison meet strangers on the street. She said people’s reactions are pretty mixed. Some people think that his circumstances are a shame and that he must be in pain etc. Melissa jokingly told me that a sign might help on his custom wheels, saying that his name was Harrison, and that although he is paralyzed from the waist down, he is happy and pain free without the need for medications.

Other people are incredibly touched by his presence and the love and dedication of his owners. We chatted about him being a great role model to children or adults in wheelchairs with his spunky, joyful attitude.

Melissa told me that Harrison has his own blog, http://harrisonbeagleupdates.blogspot.ca. I checked it out and was mesmerized by his story laid out for followers to keep in touch. Initially, their blog was for their family and friends, but of course he has quite a fan base now including myself! There are videos of him on the blog and the many obstacles he has overcome are detailed. He needs help with toileting but they have this part of his routine down pat. He is seen playing in the bathtub with a ball, going on vacation, swimming with a life jacket and recently going up a couple of stairs – a first for this little guy.

Don’t hesitate to check out the link and be inspired today!

Dogstwentyfourseven has a Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/#!/dogstwentyfourseven. Interesting articles and links are posted every week. Please click on “Like” if you are enjoying my posts and page.

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About dogstwentyfourseven

Becky White is a dog walker.She and her husband live in Toronto with their two daughters.Becky has been a dog lover all of her life and feels now is the right time to share her stories, experiences and adventures!
This entry was posted in Care of the dog, Dog with Special Needs, Dogs and Their Routines and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Harrison the Beagle

  1. Harrison sounds like a great dog Becky. Thanks for sharing his story — very touching!

  2. Paul says:

    What a wonderful story. Way to go Harrison !

  3. Jan K says:

    As a beagle Mom myself, I just love this story! I especially love the photos of Harrison with the ball….one of our beagles just loves balls, and it just goes to show that dogs get joy out of life just like people do, and probably overcome obstacles better than we do. Thanks so much for sharing it, I am going to check out their blog too.

    • Thanks for your comments.I really wanted Harrison’s owners to see my post, but have not been able to contact them.I don’t have their email and messages cannot be posted on their blog.Theirs is quite the unique story of a wonderful bond between a dog and human beings.Please check out more stories on my blog there are ninety others!

      • jank1961 says:

        I did notice that Harrison’s owners have not posted on their blog in quite a long while. It’s too bad you have not run into them again so you could let them know about your post. (I originally thought your post was new, but just now realized it was from last April).
        I will definitely be reading your other stories!

      • Hi there,
        Thanks for your comments.Yes I have noticed their blog is not updated.I would love them to read the story I wrote about Harrison.I hope they will reappear at the dog off leash park 🙂

  4. melissa says:

    Hi, Becky! This is Melissa, Harrison Beagle’s ‘owner’ (though I think it’s the other way round! lol)
    I have FINALLY updated my blog for this year (on June 11 2013)!! There’re a couple videos and a little story. Enjoy! I’ll try to post more often! 🙂

  5. melissa says:

    Me again. I meant to say thank you to you for posting such a nice story about HB and also to all your readers for their interest! I’ll be checking back at your blog often. Thanks again! 🙂

    • I am so glad you were able to read it Melissa. I did not have an email address to reach you to let you know the story was posted. I have told many dog lovers about Harrison 🙂 I hope to see you at the dog park again! I have a Facebook page called Dogstwentyfourseven you might like to check out.There are close to 100 stories on my blog.Enjoy!I will repost Harrisons story it has been awhile. Becky

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