Ollie the collie stays active thanks to wheelchair

Ollie on a walk along the Marine Highway.  INCT 11-730-CON
Ollie on a walk along the Marine Highway. INCT 11-730-CON

A Carrickfergus family pet is proving that a lack of mobility is no barrier to staying active - thanks to his use of a wheelchair.

Six-year-old border collie Ollie is causing a stir during his weekend walks along the Marine Highway, according to owner, Trevor Culbert.

“We got Ollie as a rescue pup when he was about nine months old,” Trevor said.

“He took sick more or less overnight last August. I had noticed one morning that he was very slow, and my wife rang me later to say he wouldn’t get up.

“We took him to the vets and they thought that it was either an infection or a tumour on his spinal cord.”

Ollie was put on a course of antibiotics for six weeks.

However, there was no improvement in his mobility.

“At the end of the six weeks, the vet said that we might want to consider having him put down, but we didn’t want to do that as he didn’t seem to be in any pain,” Trevor added.

However, an online collie owners’ group provided the solution to Ollie’s mobility problem.

“We saw that a guy in England was doing these wheelchairs for dogs, so we ordered one and it arrived in about three days,” said Trevor, from the Prospect Heights area of the town.

“When we first put Ollie into it, he didn’t like it at all and he would only go a few feet, but we persevered.

“It took from August up until around Christmas to get him used to it and build up enough strength in his front legs.

“He’s so bright when he’s in the chair and he looks forward to me getting home in the afternoon to let him out.

“Now he’s going up and down the length of the Marine Highway every Sunday - he always gets a lot of attention.”