Benjamin Bunny is paralyzed from the shoulders down due to a severe spinal deformity, but the rescue puppy hasn’t let that stop him from exploring his farm foster home.
Benjamin Bunny is all smiles and speed these days.
The 12-week-old puppy, who was born unable to use his rear legs, is walking for the first time thanks to his custom wheelchair from Walkin’ Pets, a pet mobility company that helps all sorts of animals get on their feet.
This change is a welcomed bright spot after a rough start for rescue dog Benjamin. According to a release from Walkin’ Pets, a dog breeder surrendered the puppy to Bosley’s Place, a Georgia-based dog rescue specializing in young puppies, when the canine was just two weeks old.
Bosley’s Place provided dedicated care to Benjamin in his early days, bottle-feeding him for weeks. Once Benjamin turned six weeks old, he was strong enough to be placed with a foster family.
The rescue matched Benjamin with The Tucker Farm and foster mom Beth Williams, who helped the pup start therapy for his back legs. After watching Benjamin try harder at therapy for weeks without showing much improvement in his mobility, Williams decided to reach out to Walkin’ Pets to get the happy puppy set up with a wheelchair.
Walkin’ Pets happily crafted a custom adjustable mobility cart for Benjamin that can be easily altered to keep fitting the puppy as he grows bigger and taller.
“Benjamin loves his wheelchair, and wheelchair time is priceless to him! For now, we are doing short periods of time in his wheels as we work to build up his strength, but Benny would stay in his Walkin’ Wheels all day if we let him!” Williams said in a statement about the little dog’s reaction to his new cart.
“I love his independence with his wheels. We are often outside here, so the way he’s able to move freely and get what he needs is life-changing for all of us. Benny doesn’t seem to spend time feeling sorry for his handicap but delights in what he has,” the foster mom continued, adding that the always adorable Benjamin now “sparkles” when he is in his wheelchair.
The wheelchair is not an answer to all of Benjamin’s mobility issues. Neurologists have determined the puppy has a severe spinal deformity behind his shoulders, which is why he is paralyzed from the shoulders back. Benjamin still shows signs of movement in his back legs, but veterinarians say that this is unfortunately not a sign of the dog regain mobility.
“It has been hard to comprehend because he has so much back leg and tail movement. But both doctors explained this is a reflex movement, and he has no idea it’s happening. Luckily for Benny, his back leg movement helps in his wheelchair!” Williams said.
Because of his spinal deformity, Benjamin will never fully walk on all four paws, but his new wheelchair allows him to develop the skills to walk in a way that is pain-free for him.
Benjamin will stay with Williams until the perfect forever home is found. Until his adoption, Bosley’s Place and The Tucker Farm have been working together to cover the puppy’s mounting medical bills.
Article originally appeared on people.com