Taboo ‘Boo’ Shooter

I am 8 years old and live with my mum, dad, 2 beagle sisters and our feline sister. I retired from working at Colne Valley Beagles two years ago and moved in with mum and dad. I now enjoy a life of luxury with a big bed, comfy sofa, central heating and snuggles every day! My favourite hobbies are chewing tennis balls, running, camping holidays and sailing.


On May 3rd I woke up and couldn’t feel my back legs or my tail. I could see them and for all that I tried to move them they just wouldn’t go where I wanted them to. When I tried to walk I                                                                                               
wobbled and fell down, a lot, and this really upset me. Mum said it was like I was drunk and rang Maple St to arrange an appointment with Martin. This made me sad because I was really hungry but mum and dad wouldn’t let me have breakfast! When we got to Maple St Martin said I was suffering from paresis and needed x-rays and a Mylogram to find out why I had very little reflex. I don’t remember much after that because I had to go to sleep whilst Martin and the nice ladies took pictures of my back.


After my x-rays I was very poorly and had to stay asleep for nearly 18 hours. I had a lot of seizures and this meant I could risk damaging my back some more. When I woke up I had my favourite toys from home and Martin explained that mum had been to visit me a few times whilst I was asleep. Martin also asked Rhona to come and meet me to see if anything could be done holistically instead of surgery. Later that day mum and dad came to collect me and Martin explained that I had a blockage in my spinal cord so the messages from my brain were unable to travel to my hind legs. I also have some degenerative discs and this may have contributed. Rhona suggested that I would be able to try some rehabilitation along with medication as she was confident this would help me. My mum made an appointment with ARC for the following week. When I got home my sisters were very happy to see me but instead of bouncing all over me like they normally do they stayed away. I think they knew I was still very poorly and they were worried. They took it in turns watching over me and putting toys in my bed. I wasn’t allowed to walk anywhere unsupported so mum and dad had to carry me or use a sling underneath my tummy to help me when I went outside to the toilet.


My first few days at ARC were very tiring. I used to spend the full day there, twice a week, and had 3 very short sessions on the underwater treadmill along with some easy physiotherapy. Over the months I was gradually strong enough to build up my time, frequency and intensity on the treadmill which I loved. My treatment also included Acupuncture, TENS machine, massage, home physio and continued medications. My physio was hard especially when I was tired and didn’t want to do it. It included things like balancing on 2 legs, tickling, massage, stroking my fur in the wrong direction, waking over small logs, figure of eights and standing on a hot water bottle whilst mum gently nudged me from side to side. It all sounds so easy now but it really wasn’t.


I loved spending my days with Aunty Rhona and the Gang at ARC but eventually these came to an end and I would only stay for 45 minutes with mum watching. She nearly cried the first time she saw how clever I was on the treadmill and all the little tricks I had learned to sneak treats from Aunty Rhona! I didn’t like my home physio much and would do anything to get out of it but mum and dad persevered and I normally gave in. Mum always gave me a nice massage afterwards which made up for the physio. I don’t much like having my feet tickled though and this was one of the things they had to do. It wasn’t bad at first as I couldn’t really feel it but now I kick them hard when they do it! They always laugh but I think it is because it reminds them of the progress I have made.