A puppy in Florida, USA without front paws is learning to walk with help from a wheelchair designed by a group of engineering high school students.
Flora Brock said Gabby, a 9-week-old Maltese Chihuahua mix, was born without front paws, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t make an effort to get around.
“She just goes! She doesn’t know she has a handicap,” Brock told WCJB-TV.
Brock said she considered a canine wheelchair to help Gabby get around, but she discovered commercially available wheelchairs were out of her price range.
“I started looking on YouTube where I just randomly found where a young girl had adopted a puppy with no legs, or she had found it on the street, actually, and her engineering department at school agreed to build her some wheels,” she said.
Brock contacted Trenton High School’s engineering department, which put three students on the case.
Project leader Samantha Prather, a sophomore, said the wheelchair presents a unique challenge for her team.
“It’s pretty much guess and check what works, what doesn’t work, what fits, what doesn’t. how does she react, obviously,” Prather said.
She said Gabby’s first fitting made the necessary adjustments apparent.
“We’re gonna rebuild this and have a training wheel in the middle,” Prather said.
Brock said she’s looking forward to giving Gabby a fast means to getting around.
“I think she’ll get used to it and she’ll be excited when she finds out she can really get around. Give the other dogs a run for their money,” Brock said.