From the comfort of his bed

From the comfort of his bed

Hoshi gets his wheelchair

A disabled Labrador is able to move about more comfortably thanks to a fundraiser supported by many generous North Okanagan residents

If Hoshi could speak, he would be saying thank you to everyone in the community who has helped him gain some freedom and mobility.

The black Labrador is just four years old, but he is already severely crippled with osteoarthritis – a painful condition in both shoulders, spine, pelvis and hips that he has had since birth.

When his owner, Jungyon Son, heard about a company in the U.S. that makes wheelchairs for dogs, she knew that was what her “fur baby” needed to give him back some quality of life.

When she decided to hold a garage sale fundraiser, Son wasn’t sure what to expect, and hoped a few people would turn up and she’d be able to raise some money towards Hoshi’s chair.

Instead, thanks to the generous donations of items for the sale, and people showing up to shop, Son was able to raise about $2,500.

“Before the sale, I would stay up at night wondering how I was going to get this to happen, and over the weekend it’s like I died and went to heaven,” she said. “It’s just a miracle of people coming out for my Hoshi; it was just so mind-boggling, and I don’t even know how to thank everybody.”

Son quickly sent the $1,600 needed for the chair to Eddie’s Wheels, which custom-made the device according to Hoshi’s measurements.

She is still trying to get Hoshi used to his new chair, which has required some adjustment.

“The wheelchair is a fantastic piece of technology; these people know their trade like nobody else. But when I got it, he had an accident. I should have waited for someone else to help, but the videos they sent me made it look so easy.

“I need to give him some time before we attempt again because he is so scared and stressed and even if he sees me carrying it he tries to hide.”

The problem is that at 150 pounds, Hoshi is much bigger than other dogs. At the moment, he can walk backwards in the chair, but is fearful of going forward.

“The wheel chair gives him a lot of good, stable support, like it is supposed to, but we just need to get him used to it. The owner, Leslie, said the saddle may not be an incorrect measurement, he may just need to get used to it. The bigger the dog, the harder it is for them to get used to it.

“When I got it, I thought he would just take off like the wind, but I will keep trying to put him in it in small increments.”

Meanwhile, thanks to the funds left over from the garage sale, Son has been able to purchase Chinese herbs and supplements, which give Hoshi some relief from his constant pain.

“This past spring, I thought I was going to have to euthanize Hoshi and prior to taking these supplements he couldn’t even walk half a minute and now we are doing 45 minutes.

“He’s still in pain, but you can see the difference in his eyes, he’s so happy to be able to join our other dogs, Jasmine and Honey.”

Son his grateful to a local couple who has agreed to continue helping with Hoshi’s supplements, and is overwhelmed by the support of the community.

“The owners of Healthy Spot put the event on their Facebook page and Kayla MacGillivray called and said she was going to do everything she could to get the word out. I would like to thank everyone who supported me, in particular Carmen Kowalchuk and the many other loving and kind people who cared so much for my Hoshi.

“I pray that everyone who contributed in any way to making our dream come true have all their wishes and desires fulfilled and that they be blessed a million times what they gave Hoshi, even if they could not contribute money or time, if they sent out a prayer that Hoshi gets his wheelchair.

“They don’t know what a great miracle they made happen for me and Hoshi.”