Paralyzed Dog Brings Joy to Dubuque


Butterfly the dog.

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DUBUQUE, Iowa  --  After being paralyzed, a dog in Dubuque was given a second chance, and is now bringing joy to many in the community.

KWWL's Brad Hanson reported on Butterfly the dog's story.

A wheelchair may not be a typical way for a dog to get around, but along with help from her owner Jane Wickler, it is part of what helped Butterfly regain her normal life.

"I tell people it's kinda like a Flintstone's car--you just pedal yourself around," said Wickler. "The personality is about 50 pounds even though she is just 36. There is so much personality now. She was like a 12-year-old dog. She was just tired and blah. Oh, now she is a sassy girl."

When Wickler goes to work at PetSmart, Butterfly is right there with her four days a week, greeting customers, and enjoying as many treats as possible. No one knows exactly what happened to her, but Wickler believes Butterfly was kicked from behind, which dislodged her stomach, crushed her vertebrae, and paralyzed her.

After hearing her story, Wickler traveled 1900 miles in 23 hours to rescue Butterfly and get her into a wheelchair.

"And there was so much joy in her, being able to move," said Wickler.

Butterfly is now the star of the show at PetSmart, and she loves it just as much as the customers.

"Absolutely love her. Some will shop just when she's here just to see her," said Wickler. "It's been absolutely phenomenal. She brings more to this place than some perfectly able-bodied dog does."

Wickler wants to raise money to help firefighters save animals, and plans to host a birthday party for Butterfly to raise money to buy oxygen masks for animals.



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