Paralyzed puppy steals hearts during rehab - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Paralyzed puppy steals hearts during rehab

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DANVILLE, Vt. -

This is Murray. Watch as he spins himself around and starts walking.

A few weeks ago, he couldn't even do this. Dr. Lisa Whitney didn't know why the golden retriever couldn't use his back legs, but she knew she could try to help.

"First you call home and ask your family, can I bring home this dog?" she says. "By the time you get home there's a chance the 11-year-old will have built him a sling."

Which is just what Emma did for Murray. They used the sling to get him to start putting weight on his back legs.

The sixth grader has been by Murray's side ever since.

"I think he's just cute and he's outgoing and he's really playful and he's just a good boy!" Emma Sestito says.

"He spent a week or so in the sling until we realized that he was starting to stand when he was eating, which was the first thing we saw, instead of just laying down and eating, one morning he was standing up and eating," says Dr. Whitney.

It didn't take long for another family member, of the four legged variety, to become attached. This is a photo of Murray with Lewis on Thanksgiving Day. Dr. Whitney says, since taking Murray, she has done physical therapy, acupuncture and therapeutic lasers to help him get his legs working.

The latest video post on Facebook shows Murray's determination.

"We've got two stairs coming up from the mudroom into the living room and he got his front feet on one and we called and we hollered and we cajoled and eventually, he managed to drag himself up!" she says. "Wasn't pretty, but he did it!"

The connection between Lewis and Murray is even deeper than you may imagine.

A year ago, Lewis was just like Murray. He couldn't use his back legs. Like Lewis, Dr. Whitney says, Murray is a happy guy with a will to live.

"He certainly goes outside and he keeps up with the other dogs, it means a lot of times he is pulling his back legs behind him rather than walking, but I anticipate he'll lead a very happy, normal life in whatever version that is," Dr. Whitney says. "Whether that's with wheels or legs!"

"It's so exciting because when we first got him, he didn't even use his back legs, he would drag them around and now he can walk! It's really exciting!" Sestito says.

Exciting to watch for this family and the fans on Facebook who are watching his every step.

"Everyone who comes to my mom's work is like, 'Oh my gosh is that Murray? Oh, there's Murray!' because they all follow him!" Sesito says.

Dr. Whitney says, if she thought Murray was in any kind of pain, she would be making different decisions.

She says with technology today, you can even get wheelchairs for dogs with snow tires.

She told me, it could be weeks or months before they know how much Murray will be able to use his back legs.

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