What Tobias, the Dachshund, means to me.

by Taryne
(Preston, CT)

Well... It all started when my mom got me a Dachshund 5 yrs ago to keep me company and to keep me happy while trying to deal with having bi-polar, arthritis, and having to deal with being in high school all at once. My dog has helped me through depression, hurt and the death of my last pet rabbit, Peanut, and he's been with me through suicidal fits and the loss of friends and family. His name is Tobias(aka Toby).

He's my best friend but last year on October 16th, a month and a day after he turned 4, he fell off of something high and did something to his hips and could not walk on his back legs anymore and it was a real depressing time cause i loved taking him on walks and now he cannot do this anymore. I'm gonna be 20 in August and he's gonna be 5 on September 15th. I love him cause he's my best friend and my baby boy. He knows i love him and he loves me too, But it feels like I failed him cause I can't afford a wheelchair for him, but he's determined to move around on his own and when he's determined its hard to keep him in one place.

I wish I could afford a wheelchair for him but with me being in pain all the time with no insurance at all it's hard to pick him up cause it puts pressure on me and thats the worst problem I have. I don't smoke or drink so I don't have any problems like that but its hard not being able to get what he needs most. Also without Toby, I wouldn't be here today cause he keeps me out of depression. Toby, for the last 5 years, has been my lifeline.

Editor's note: Taryne, thank you for your story about Tobias and how much he is helping you cope with your difficulties. I think it is amazing how well you are dealing with things without resorting to self-medicating. Dachshund's are great companions and all around dogs. My family's Dachshund, Mitsu, was very helpful in making us kids feel better about the frequent moving we did, especially since we weren't encouraged to talk about our feelings...

Note that a wheelchair does not have to cost you much money. For a dog the size of a Dachshund, you can make your own dog wheelchair out of PVC pipe and casters. It doesn't have to cost you anything if you scrounge or ask around, and are willing to take old things apart. If you fill out our contact form, we may be able to help you with a design.

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wheelchair for Toby
by: Viki Gentilman

I am glad that you have Toby to help you! Don't feel guilty about his fall -- Toby's breed is meant to get into some mischief (and that is why we love them!) I hope that you can make him a wheelchair... if you can't afford it try calling a Lion's club near you...or other charity organizations. Explain the problem and how much you would need for a chair for him. Or call a local hardware store...they may help also. Then you can take Toby for walks again -- and if you are near a school or hospital, maybe you could take him to meet the kids. For some reason, kids can relate to an animal that is disabled better than the can with PEOPLE that are...and it begins to open their minds to accept that everyone is different.
Have you thought about training Toby to be your service dog (even in the wheelchair)? You can email me -- vsgentilman@bellsouth.net if you are interested in more info.
My husband is bi-polar -- we have been married almost 38 years. He uses Hannah, our Great Pyrenees, as a service dog. She helps him pick up things (he also has a bad back), bring him things, and she does a wonderful medical alert for both his blood sugar and his mood swings. She is a huge help for him...especially when he is a bit unsure of a situation. He knows that he must stay level headed because she would react like a Great Pyr does...go into protection mode. THAT is not allowed in a service dog. smiles!
Hang in there...

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