Wheelchairs connect Austin man and his best friend

AUSTIN, TX (KTRK) -- One look at this 5-year-old Chihuahua mix will melt your heart. But if it wasn't for the support of pet lovers, he might not be here today.

"He'd been picked up, and had been hit by a car. And it was determined that his spine was severed so he had no use of his back legs," said Don Jennings with San Antonio Pets Alive.

With minimal resources available at traditional municipal facilities, the dog was moved to San Antonio Pets Alive. The staff there named him Chance.

"We were able to step in and pull him, transfer him in to our program, get him stabilized, and then sort of a happy series of events happened. Someone had a used wheelchair that fit Chance," Jennings said.

After being fitted for his wheelchair, Chance was able to get around just like any other dog, but he was still in need of a forever home.

"Everybody loved him and loved his story, but nobody wanted the actually responsibility of taking care of a disabled dog," said Stacey Williams.

Stacey and her husband, Michael would go on to adopt Chance, and Micahel and the dog share something unique. Michael has been in a wheel chair most of his life.

"When I was 12 years old, I got Transverse Myelitis, and pretty much took my legs away in 3 days," Michael Williams said.

When he met Chance for the first time, there was an immediate connection.

"I know his struggles, so I felt that we could bond and overcome many of those obstacles we come across," Michael Williams said. "He can't jump like the other dogs but, you can see it in his eyes that it's not going to hold him back."

Although adopting a dog like Chance comes with bigger responsibilities, it's something Stacey welcomes.

"Make sure he's not hurting his feet by dragging them. I still have to change his diaper because he doesn't have control of his urinary," she said.

Chance has lived with the Williams family for two years now. They say he's not just a dog, but a member of the family.

"Michael is super outgoing and he never lets anything stop him. And Chance does the exact same thing. They're quite a team," Stacey Williams said.
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