1983 - Volume #7, Issue #3, Page #17[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Paralyzed Dog Runs On Set Of Rear Wheels
Bev and Glen Krause invested slightly over $200 to equip their dog with wheels that have allowed her to run and chase cows again.
The Krauses, who farm eight miles southwest of Owatonna, Minn., are a little hesitant about telling the story of their paralyzed dog.
"Some people think we're a little crazy keeping her around like that," Bev Krause said shyly, adding that others thought they'd wasted money to purchase a set of wheels that allow the dog to run again.
But Sam earns her keep.
"She really gets those heifers!" Krause said. "And he uses her everyday," his wife added.
The six-year-old border collie was paralyzed several years ago when instinct overwhelmed common sense and she crossed the township road inpursuit of a rabbit. The hare escaped, but Sam was struck by a car.
The Krauses had purchased the dog only a short time before from a neighbor and were just beginning to enjoy the luxury of a cow-dog. Sam used to work an area of pasture Krause defined as more than 90 rods long. "Those heifers made regular fools out of us before we got her," Glen Krause said.
They took the dog to Dr. Marvin Trandem, a Faribault veterinarian. Trandem, assessed the dog's condition and advised that even though the animal wasn't in any pain, the couple should either get a cart for the dog or put it to sleep. The dog had developed open sores from constantly laying on the ground.
Trandem recalled that the dog had a fracture of the back, already healed by the time it was brought to him on a referral. "They certainly loved this dog a great deal. Many will say, Šthat's it' and put their dog to sleep," he said.
Trandem gave the couple information about "K-9 cart" and left the decision to them.
"I guess that's what we were waiting to hear," Mrs. Krause said. They brought the dog home and decided to give the cart a try, sending the animal's measurements to the company. Cost for the appliance was approximately $175.
Although she doesn't have the mobility of four legs, Sam works with the same vitality as before the accident. The Krauses remove the cart and bed "Sam" down in the barn at night, then harness her to the cart every morning.
Tuesday morning, when it was time to lock in the cows, Glen hollered for Sam. The dog vaulted out the barn door and through several inches of mud and slush to bark encouragement at several heifers in the yard. Then leaning forward, she ran in a sweeping circle, bringing them the 100 yards back to the barn.
One heifer, frightened by the click of a camera, leaped an electric fence and took off across the Krause farmstead. Glen headed across the field while Sam waited on higher ground to take up chase. When the heifer came within range, the dog ran behind the farm outbuildings, cut off her escape and directed her back to the barn.
The Krauses were clearly proud that a visitor had witnessed their favorite canine in action. They expect their dog still has a lot of good years of cow-chasing left in her. The only special attention they expect to give her is an occasional tire change.
(Reprinted from the Owatonna Press).
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