‘He’s just so happy’: Paralyzed Nanaimo dog finds new lease on life


When an active, water-loving Golden Doodle named Oliver suddenly woke up paralyzed in his Nanaimo home, his owners were in shock.

“It was awful. We rushed to the emergency vet,” said Nanaimo resident Terre Flower.

“We had no idea what could be wrong because he went to bed just fine and woke up and couldn’t move his back end at all,” said Maria Gomes, who also lives in Nanaimo.

The couple said they tried everything from surgeries to the best therapies to save him, but his mobility never returned. And they weren’t about to let their friend go.

“He’s just so happy, and yeah, there’s no way we would give up on him,” said Gomes.

So the couple has gone to great lengths to keep that promise, outfitting their pet with a wheelchair that allows his front legs to pull the weight of his back half and letting him run remarkably fast, chase a ball, and often lead them on their walks.

“It is just lovely to see him active. You know when I see him run and chase balls, and just when he’s looking happy, you know he’s having a good life,” said Gomes.

Gomes and Flower even installed a pet elevator in their historic home to ensure Oliver can get up and down without stairs. They also say he’s inspiring to watch wheel through the streets of Nanaimo and that many people will turn their heads and smile at the sight.

“Life is sweet no matter what your conditions are,” said Gomes.

“Because his life is pretty great, and our life is pretty great with him in it,” she said.

“Also, I’d like to think that he is kind of a role model…I have been stopped by people who’ve asked me where we got our wheels, and so I think he probably saves a life or two, and I like that too,” said Flower.

The happy four-legged family is making life work with a few modifications that they say have been worth every penny.

Skye RyanSkye Ryan

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