WALKER, MI — Bolt, a two-year-old terrier mix, behaves just like any other dog at Kelley’s Animal Clinic.
When called or tempted with a treat, he rears his head, ears perked in interest.
Unlike other dogs, however, Bolt needs a bit of mechanical help to get around.
Equipped with a set of wheels mounted to his hind quarters, the small white and brown dog continues to thrive even after suffering an accident that left him without control of his lower half.
Jan Denny, an administrator at the Walker-based clinic, said after finding Bolt at a nearby shelter, she knew she wanted to get him any help she could.
“He stole my heart,” Denny said.
After picking up Bolt from Pound Buddies Animal Shelter in Muskegon, the terrier mix was examined by veterinarian James Kelley.
The only information anyone had on Bolt was that it appeared he was hit by a car and someone had turned him into the Muskegon shelter a few days later.
During Kelley’s examination, he discovered Bolt’s spinal cord wasn’t completely severed, as was previously thought. If treated using stem cells, Kelley believes Bolt could see restored use of his hind quarters.
“Maybe we can regenerate some of that (feeling) back, and maybe we can’t, but it’s certainly worth a try,” Kelley said.
Contacting a stem cell office in Kentucky, Kelley is hoping to do therapy in-house in the near future. Despite his condition, Bolt is fully ready for adoption, and staff hope anyone who would give Bolt a home would also bring him by for the therapy.
Moving forward, Denny said Bolt would also be a fantastic animal ambassador for patients at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. Being able to see Bolt move and play despite his condition, Denny said kids could easily relate and see they can overcome life challenges.
She also plans to see if Bolt could work as a therapy dog.
For now, Bolt is content to speed around the animal clinic, undergoing laser and water therapy sessions he help him recover, Denny said.
Anyone interested in Bolt is asked to contact Kelley’s Animal Clinic at 616-453-7422.
By RJ Wolcott