Would you believe that a dog in a cart can still compete successfully as a dancer in canine musical freestyle?
… and soldier on happily in his therapy dog duties?
… and ace the Trick Dog Championship title — the first dog with Degenerative Myelopathy ever to do so?
Get ready to believe, friends. Meet Stretch, the super Corgi on wheels! Despite being diagnosed with Degenerative Myelopathy (DM) last year, this ten year-old Pembroke hasn’t let it stop him.
Stretch has been doing canine therapy since he was a year old. Through Therapy Dogs Inc., he does group visits with Greenbelt Dog Training. He also does individual visits to an assisted living facility with PAWS (People and Animals Who Serve Anne Arundel County). Last year, Stretch got his AKC Therapy Dog certificate.
In 2014, Stretch wasn’t yet in a cart. His DM was in early stages, and his paws would sometimes knuckle under when he walked.
As if all of that wasn’t enough, in his spare time Stretch has also served as a reading assistance dog at the local library (check out his profile on Library Dogs) …
… and passed the sheep herding instinct test …
… and was a member of the award winning Doggie Drill Team with Greenbelt Dog Training …
… and earned his Companion Dog title from the Canine Dog Sports Program …
… and marched in some big parades, including a July 4th one (after which his photo appeared in The Washington Post’s coverage!), and a festive St. Patrick’s Day march on the National Mall.
“I don’t want people to feel sorry for him but to see how happy and full of life he still is” writes Angie. “I’m very proud of my buddy. He is my first dog and has been such a joy in my life. It has been hard dealing with his disease, but he is a fighter and an inspiration to many. Stretch has had a great life and career. The people in the dance class and the WheelCorgis group have been so supportive and encouraging as he has taken to life on wheels, and I am deeply grateful for that. Stretch is known by a lot of people in the area, so it will be nice if others can meet him.”
Well Angie and Stretch, I think we can arrange that. Hello world, meet STRETCH!
Dog about town, irresistible bone vivant: