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Tanner was just 8 weeks old when he came into rescue. Unable to lift his head, eating side-ways from a lid; competing for food with his more able-bodied brother. You see, Tanner and his brother were born with angular deformities. It appears they were side-by-side in the womb, as each had this deformity on the opposite front leg.
The first picture is of Tanner at just 10 weeks old. The one on the right is Tanner at 2.5 years old, standing on his own two legs.
Unfortunately Tanner's brother had more room, as Tanner was also born with deformed upper body bone structure, and was left to lay for so long that his other leg was not able to move, and if left to lay on his chest, had the risk of his lungs not developing properly. Below is the video journal of Tanner's journey of Hope. Tanner is now an ambassador of Hope for Husker's Hope Dachshund Rescue.
This is the video that Tanner's Mom saw that stole her heart! Just from this short video, she knew exactly what he needed, and offered to foster him. And, when the recommendation from K-State was to put him to sleep, she set out to prove them 100% wrong. He just needed help!
Unlike your typical puppy, Tanner needed assistance to get off his chest, so he can play and grow, and possibly regain use of the one leg that was stunted by his being allowed to lay for so long at the puppy mill that surrendered him, as he was worthless to them, having no ability to walk.
The first thing we did was find Tanner a harness that would support his chest without adding pressure. Then we set out to give Mr. Tanner Man his first steps off his chest. We worked with him every single day, teaching him to walk, getting him ready for a new life of independence!
In addition, we took Tanner to several specialists. They were surprised, but gracious, when they saw it was a dog to be seen for evaluation and potential therapies. Intrigued, all were wonderful in evaluating Tanner's condition, making recommendations for potential prosthetics and therapies.
For several weeks we worked on helping Tanner develop strength in his rear legs, as well as, exercising his one front leg in hopes of regaining muscle mass and self-movement. Tanner, like most dachshunds, was a fast learner and excelled at every thing he was learning to do. And, he was patient when he had to do things he didn't care to do, like controlled walking, and constant measurements for home-made devices to give him more independence.
Tanner loved to play in the yard, and we were absolutely taken back when he had figured out how to get around, without his harness! We were thrilled! But, he still needed a means of transportation, to replace his weakened and deformed front legs and chest.
Tanner was very slow to gain weight. He came in less than 2lbs and needed to weigh at least 6lbs to get a custom walker cart. So we took a look at what was out there and engineered one for him!
Tanner was finally able to enjoy the end results of weeks of measuring and trial runs with many different designs for a training cart. We finally got it figured out, and Tanner was amazing in learning to run, using our new training cart, in just a few hours. He might have been short-sheeted physically, but he made up for, by leaps and bounds, in the intelligence field!
At just one month old, Tanner has improved in his abilities with and without his training cart. But, the best times are without. Like every dachshund, Tanner loves his freedom. So, we make sure he gets plenty of it!
During our development of Tanner's training cart, we enlisted the help of several volunteers in the community to come and work with us, helping Tanner not only learn, but also socialize with different people. This also gave us extra eyes and input on the best measure to take in developing his cart for maximum usefulness.
With months of therapy and training, along with Tanner gaining just enough weight to qualify (at 5.9lbs), he gets his first custom walking cart! He is 11 months old and doing great at this point.
However, the new wheels were more constricting to Tanner, taking days for him to figure out, without tipping over sideways, during turns; and, onto his nose when he tried to hop in his usual free-style manner.
We tried many different adjustments, to include a front-end training wheel, but nothing seemed to work. We are still working with Tanner, to help him conquer this one device that helps him get around.
Tanner Man loves to play with his family. And, they love to play with him, as well. He has become very well-adjusted and is enjoying a quality of life, despite the predictions given for him at 8 weeks old.
We can understand the thoughtfulness of the doctors, in their assumptions, that Tanner would never have a quality of life, to allow him to live and be happy. But, as you can see, they were wrong! 100% wrong!
Tanner is the happiest little Dachshund in the world. He has no idea that he's different, and is quick to figure out how to out-do the kids with 4 legs. Like anyone with limits, he has learned to adjust, giving him no limits in what he can do and how he gets it done.
At 1.2 years old, Tanner has become an inspiration for many! In fact, we have adjusted and re-designed his training cart to fit kids that are waiting to get their very own custom cart.
Several kids have used Tanner's old pvc-pipe cart. And, in our developing Tanner's old cart, we have laid down a foundation to enable us to help other dogs that need mobility, but cannot afford the custom walking carts.
Today, Tanner continues to amaze and inspire everyone he meets. His personality is that of a typical dachshund. He has his naughty times, but mostly he's the best dachshund in the world. He's funny, loving, and a gracious host to many displaced dachshunds that find their way to his home.
Tanner is an amazing pup. His mom knew that he was the perfect dog, paid 100% of his medical costs, even his share of the Hospital bill; and adopted him within the first month he was with her. Tanner's initial rescue group bought him his first walking cart.
He continues to inspire many dachshund owners with disabled doxies. Tanner's mom has since fostered several downed dachshunds, giving them therapy and Hope, with Tanner and his pals cheering each one on!