Scout can no longer chase squirrels nor wag his tail when he’s happy.
He lost control of his lower body and was diagnosed with canine degenerative myelopathy, a rare disease in Labs.
Earlier this year, Maida and Baxter Evans, Scout’s owner, noticed he had difficulty getting in and out of the car. He started dragging his hind legs and struggled to get traction.
Scout was later diagnosed with canine degenerative myelopathy. The symptoms include weakness and loss of coordination in the back legs, followed by paralysis. It is a disease equivalent to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS in humans.
Scout came into the Evans’ lives in 2002. They were looking out for one of their dogs at the North Rivoli Farms in Bibb County, when a 6-month-old puppy appeared in the dark.
“All I could see was his eyes,” Maida said.
The couple named him Scout because he was supposed to scout deer in the neighboring woods but the silly Lab scouted packages FedEx delivered instead.
In March, the couple ordered a custom-built dog wheelchair. Maida uses the wheel chair to walk Scout twice a week.
Exercise takes a lot of his energy but he needs it, Maida said.
Scout has lost his ability to bark and his lungs seem to have weakened.
The couple has three other dogs and a cat in their home in River Forest. They have never bought a dog and all of them aren’t purebred.
“People have asked why we don’t have him put down,” Maida said.
“But dogs are a part of your family. You don’t give up on them. He’s happy and content. He still has value.”
The couple refuses to give up on their Labrador Retriever Mix despite his condition.
“He has given us 12 years, and we feel as long as he isn’t in pain, enjoys life and those around him, we owe it to him to let him live out his life as long as possible. When the time comes, he will let us know.”
Source: The Telegraph