Best Friends Forever: A Man and His Paralyzed Dog

Best Friends Forever: A Man and His Paralyzed Dog

If you caught a glimpse of Jackโ€™s big, happy smile from a distance, youโ€™d never guess that there was anything wrong. But getting closer, youโ€™d see that his back legs are paralyzed. When Jack isnโ€™t scooting around in his wheelchair, his unmoving legs drag behind him on the ground.โ€œJack became paralyzed in 2007 as a result of jumping for a treat -- something heโ€™s done a million times,โ€ says Bobby Kleinau, who adopted Jack in 2006 after hearing about a stray dog brought into the Andover Animal Hospital in Andover, MA. โ€œHe jumped, landed awkwardly, and let out a big โ€˜yelp.โ€™ Later the next day he lost the use of his hind legs.โ€The day that Jack becameย paralyzed, Bobby took him to three different animal hospitals.โ€œAll of them laid out my options and strongly recommended that I put him down,โ€ Bobby says.In order for Jack to have a decent quality of life, he would need a $12,000 surgery and physical therapy. In addition, because Jack would no longer have the ability to urinate, Bobby would need to learn how to โ€œexpressโ€ his bladder for him. Jack would also lose control over his bowels.โ€œAfter all of this was laid out to me, I sat with Jack and asked him what he wanted me to do in a very emotional moment,โ€ Bobby says. โ€œHe looked at me and thumped his head right in my chest. I knew he wanted to stay with me. That is when the decision was made to roll the dice and go through with the process. That was the best decision I have ever made.โ€Bobby and Jack have a truly special relationship. Bobby says that it was โ€œlove at first sightโ€ when he adopted Jack, and that the two have been inseparable ever since.โ€œWhen I first adopted Jack I was selfish and self-centered,โ€ Bobby says. โ€œI never had to care about anyone but myself. After losing 140 pounds, I was on the verge of becoming a complete ego maniac. Jack gave me perspective.โ€And since his accident, Jack has continued to teach Bobby valuable lessons.โ€œHe has been patient throughout the process and has been a blessing to my life in every way possible,โ€ Bobby says. โ€œI mean sure, he can't jump and run the way he used to, but he still goes where he wants to go and does what he wants to do. If he can't get somewhere, he just lets me know that he needs a โ€˜liftโ€™.โ€Lifting isnโ€™t the only thing that Bobby does for his pal. He also expresses his bladder three to four times a day, stimulates his bowel movements, makes him a special high-quality diet, and because Jack canโ€™t stand in one place for too long, carries his food bowl and follows him until he finds a comfortable place to eat.โ€œDating has also been interesting and challenging,โ€ says Bobby. โ€œAnd I haven't been able to really travel since he want paralyzed because of his dependence, and I won't just drop him off at a kennel. Jack is 65 pounds and I'm very particular on who can lift him correctly and tend to his needs.โ€ Clearly, Bobbyโ€™s life has been transformed by Jackโ€™s paralysis, but he says thatโ€™s a good thing.โ€œEverybody wants to give me credit for giving so much to Jack,โ€ Bobby says. โ€œBut what they don't quite see is how much he has given to me, and continues to do so.โ€Inspired by Jackโ€™s amazing spirit, Bobby and a friend decided to start a business selling t-shirts with an image of Jackโ€™s likeness. Proceeds from the sale of

Jacky Wheels

t-shirts go to support

The Sato Project

, an organization that saves dogs from Dead Dog Beach in Puerto Rico then flies them to NY and Boston where they are either fostered or sheltered until they are adopted. If you want to buy a t-shirt, head over to

. And if you want to learn more about Jack and see him and Bobby in action, check out the wonderful documentary โ€œA Dog and His Boyโ€ by Steven Schloss:

As a thanks to Bobby for all that he does for Jack and other dogs, we are giving him a free trial of PetPlus, a benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, boarding, and more.ย Have a story youโ€™d like to share or know a pet-family deserving of a free trial ofย PetPlus? Contact the Pet Savvy editors at or leave a note in the comments below. Weโ€™d love to hear from you.ย 


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