Man and His Dog Heal from Health Problems Together

Rick Slater and his Dachshund Banjo are best friends. For more than a decade, the inseparable pair have taken daily walks through their hometown. Both of the best buds suffered recent serious health problems. With each other’s support, they are overcoming the challenges.

Image Mark Davis/Powell Tribune

Slater Suffered a Stroke and Banjo Injured His Back

Earlier this year, Slater suffered a stroke. The very same week, Banjo injured his back. He was fine one day and suddenly lost the ability to use his hind legs. Slater’s granddaughter Olivia Capron, told the Powell Tribune, “[Banjo] was fine one day, and the next day he was dragging himself around with no support in his back at all.” 

Vet Offered Treatment Options

The family did not know how or when Banjo hurt his back. Back injuries are fairly common in Dachshunds, however, so the vet deduced that Banjo’s mobility problems were caused by an unnoticed injury. Surgery was offered as an option but it was going to be very expensive and the results were far from guaranteed.

The vet cautioned the family that these physical challenges can lead to depression and malaise in dogs who have always enjoyed an active lifestyle. Fortunately, Banjo maintained his happy demeanor and did not seem to be in pain. Given that, the vet suggested they equip Banjo with a set of wheels.

Image Mark Davis/Powell Tribune

Banjo and Slater on the Road to Recovery Together

Stroke victims can regain their mobility through physical therapy, which includes taking regular walks. Before Banjo got his own wheels, Slater used an old Radio Flyer wagon to take Banjo along on his walks. Once his dog his cart, Banjo was able to join Slater on his own. The two would venture out together, walking the road to recovery side-by-side.

Over time, Slater and Banjo both regained their mobility! The vet team and Banjo’s family have been shocked by Banjo’s progress. He has regained feeling in his legs and may eventually be able to get around without the use of his wheels. Banjo has been called the “miracle dog” for his surprising recovery.

The vet from Bighorn Animal Care told the Powell Tribune, “Usually, when it goes as long as that, you typically don’t see them come back. He has gained function. It’s amazing the feeling in his legs came back.”

Image Mark Davis/Powell Tribune

Banjo and Slater Never Gave Up on Each Other

Banjo and Slater supported each other through a very tough time. There is no doubt that the loving support they gave and received from one another contributed to their healing. “He has been my companion through my [treatments] and now my stroke,” Slater said in the Powell Tribune. 

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