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05 Oct 2022

Video: Paraplegic pooch goes viral after ditching her wheelchair to ‘run around like a T-Rex’

Video: Paraplegic pooch goes viral after ditching her wheelchair to ‘run around like a T-Rex’

A paraplegic pooch has become a TikTok and Instagram sensation after racking up hundreds of millions of views because she loves ditching her wheelchair to “run around like a T-Rex”.

When Brittany Huyser, 34, first saw a picture of little Dixie the Mastiff, who had been paralysed in both her back legs since birth for unknown reasons, she immediately knew that she had to adopt her because they had an “instant connection”.

The five-year-old pooch underwent surgery to remove both of her back legs in October 2019 and needs to wear a diaper as she is incontinent, but is otherwise healthy and videos of her frolicking have gone viral to their 150K followers on Instagram and TikTok.

Brittany, who lives in North Carolina, USA, with her partner construction worker Dennis Brown, 46, and works with autistic children, said: “Adopting Dixie was the most important and meaningful decision I have ever made. She’s made me better and more empathetic.

“And she shows me every day that animals that have disabilities can live long and happy lives.

“She puts a smile on my face every day and all the people who follow her story online always say she has been inspired by her.

“Some people have even asked me if it’s real, because she looks like she’s running around like a T-Rex.”

Brittany decided to look for a dog after moving into a house with a backyard in August 2018, as she felt she was finally able to have a furry friend responsibly.

And her search came to an end just two weeks later, when she saw a picture of Dixie online and decided to drive to the foster home where she was being homed.

Their connection was immediate, according to Brittany, who said Dixie had been described to her as “very shy”.

Brittany said: “When I first saw her, she just gravitated towards me and wanted me to pet her.

“The foster parents said she was very shy but she wasn’t at all.

“She let me pick her up and play with her. She was warm, loving and playful.”

A week later, Brittany officially adopted little Dixie.

Sadly, Dixie’s back legs continued to drag behind her as she was paralysed and she began to suffer with wounds and infections.

Despite spending each night carefully dressing her wounds, eventually, in March 2019 a biopsy revealed she had osteomyelitis, a dangerous bone infection that can be fatal.

In October that year, Brittany decided to have a vet amputate both of Dixie’s back legs in a bid to save her life – which was the “most terrifying but ultimately best decision” she could make.

She said: “I was so nervous about the surgery as we didn’t know what the outcome would be but I needed to do anything I could to make sure she was ok.

“It was the most terrifying but ultimately best decision I could make for her.”

Dixie has a wheelchair to help her move around, but Brittany said she loves running around on her two front legs more than anything in the world.

Brittany began posting pictures and videos of Dixie on Instagram in January 2019, but by late 2021 she only had 2K followers.

But after posting a video of her running without her wheelchair, she suddenly woke up to more than 35K followers.

The pooch now boasts more than 115K followers on Instagram and around 35K followers on TikTok, with some videos amassing more than 60 million views alone.

Brittany said: “I realised other people were curious about her and loved the fact she was different.

“To me, she’s just my dog so I was really surprised.

“When she got out of her surgery she just started walking that way. She’s got a big head that helps her balance.”

Brittany is inundated with questions each day, with the most popular being how does she pee, which led to her posting a video of Dixie happily urinating like a “splatter painting” that was seen 61 million times.

She added: “The first time I saw her pee, I was in total shock. When I first took her out for a walk without a diaper, she peed all over my feet.

“I didn’t think much of it at the time. I thought that was just what having a puppy is like.

“If she is not wearing a diaper it just goes everywhere like a splatter painting. I think it’s hilarious.”

Brittany said she feels inspired each day, because of Dixie’s infectious positivity despite all that she has faced in her life so far.

She added: “She’s so happy and just loves life, she doesn’t care that she has a disability. I think she just thinks she’s a normal dog and I love that.

“She loves treats and going on walks, and playing and jumping, just like any dog.

“She cheers me up every single day and makes me feel like I can do anything.”

You can follow Dixie on Instagram at @pups_on_wheels and TikTok at @pups_on_wheels0

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