I emphatically love dogs.  Going on walks with mine is often the highlight of my day.  Often times, though, walking dogs can be tiresome.  Especially when you have energetic dogs!  They tend to need more walks then I can give them in pushing strength through my manual wheelchair.

While down at my father’s over the long weekend I asked him if I could borrow the scooter. (He has kept one there for me to use around his property.). He was happy to lend it to me.  

That was the best idea!  Now Chancey and Grace get really good excercise.  On top of that; each dog (walked separately) gets some quality time to bond with me.  

If you have dogs, and have a disability, maybe you already have a scooter and walk your dogs often.  If not, I want to recommend you try it.  See if it revolutionizes your dog walks the way it has mine.  Until next time…

 

Recently I was reading on the internet about the struggles some parents have when they found out their baby would be born with Spina Bifida.

Their shared concern was the  baby’s quality of life.   

It got me thinking about my own journey as a person with Spina Bifida.   

I was born with a more severe form of Spina Bifida.  I have a shunt that drains excess fluid from my brain because of hydrocephelus which is common among babies born with my severity of Spina Bifida.   I am paralyzed from the waist down.  I have used a wheelchair since I was a very young child.   

Although I have had many health issues throughout my life,  I would have to say that I have always had a good quality of life.  I was involved in sports early on.  I taught myself to swim at the age of 7, to walk on my hands at age 5,  On my own I learned the skill of ventiloquism.    

Many of us with Spina Bifida are even able to have our own families.  I never got around to marriage, though.  

I have my own home and vehicle.  I have learned how to cook and do laundry.  

I’m an amateur musician and have played in my church band.  As well, I write and compose my own songs.

While I have definitely had struggles throughout my life, one thing remains true, I have accomplished so much in my 48 years.  Thanks to family and friends I have a good social life. 

One of the greatest joys I have is owning a dog.  And soon two.  

Wow!  I just have to thank God for the many blessings He has given me.  It is because of God I have overcome so many trials.  Yes, based on my own journey, I believe a person with Spina Bifida can have a good quality of life.  Below is a video of me walking dogs.

As a kid, I got to play wheelchair sports such as basketball, and soccer.  While there was some modification,  the basics were the same as anybody else who played.  Track and Field were also a part of my childhood.  It seems like yesterday I was on the starting line of the 60 meter dash.  I was a fantastic sprinter, so the 60 meter dash was a perfect fit to win 1st place.  My favorite field event was the club and javelin.  I competed in the shot put, and actually landed on the front page of the local newspaper holding a shot put in my hand.

I suppose the point to sharing this is that my family made sure that I was active.  I stayed plenty active in sports.  Unfortunately, as an adult I went years without being active. It wasn’t until I started attending church, and getting to make friends that I started getting to be a social person.  However, when I got my dog last year, that’s when my activity level went to an all time high.  With my dog, Chancey, I was able to break all kinds of boundaries I had built around me because I was so anxious. 

Without the help of Chancey, I’d probably still be in my comfort zone, watching television all day waiting for someone to initiate some type of activity that I could be part of.  Since I have gotten a dog, I feel so much healthier.  Dogs are a great motivator!