Bark and ride: Dog with wheels goes walkies in west Hull
WHEN six-year-old pug Algernon was diagnosed with a crippling illness three years ago, his devastated owners feared he would never walk again.
His back legs stopped working and he could only get around by shuffling on his bottom across the floor.
Now, Algernon has been fitted with a £325 pair of rear wheels, which let him walk on his own.
Owners Julie Turner and Tony Skipworth said Algernon is making the most of his new-found freedom.
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Julie, 47, said: "He absolutely loves the wheels. He is always running around in them.
"He can go on walks, play with other dogs and no longer has to be carried everywhere. They've really given him a new lease of life."
The pug was fitted with the device, costing more than £300, last year after the couple, of Farringdon Street, west Hull, could not bear to have him put down.
Julie, a production operative at Smith & Nephew in Hessle Road, west Hull, said: "We loved Algernon to bits and wanted to give him the best quality of life possible.
"So, when Tony came across a website offering stabiliser wheels for dogs, we had to buy some.
"I know they were expensive, but it was absolutely worth it."
Tony, 34, said: "Algernon was a bit afraid when I first put the wheels on him.
"But when he found out he could walk, I swear he smiled."
The wheels, from The Dog Mobile Company in Buckton, Bridlington, are strapped to the pug by a metal brace.
They prop his back legs up to stop them from dragging – leaving his front paws to set the pace.
Algernon, who only wears the device a few hours a day of Farringdon Street, west Hull, started struggling to walk in 2010.
Julie said: "He began walking with a bit of a limp, so we took him to the vets to get him checked out.
"We thought he might have just stood on a sharp object and injured his paws.
"We never imagined it would be something so serious."
The pug had an operation on his backbone, which had become fused with other bones, but was left unable to walk.
Julie, who has three other pugs, said: "We had to carry him everywhere, but he was the same playful and loving pug.
"We were given the choice to have him put down and neither of us could do it."
But the couple said some people have branded their decision "selfish".
She said: "I have friends who say they would have had him put down.
"But I'm sure if they saw how happy he is, they'd change their minds.
"I hope people look at Algernon and realise there is hope for poorly dogs like him."