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Tracie Hotchner: New Leash on Life

A disabled dog finds hope, thanks to her devoted family

Callie playing in her wheelchairIn celebration of National Pet Week, I would like to share some happy news from a family whose pit bull mix, Callie, has a new leash on life.

The Craig family of Willis, Texas, refused to give up on Callie, who had lost mobility in her rear legs after suffering a herniated disk. Callie still had the tenacity and can-do spirit to see her through, so the Craigs tried months of pain and anti-inflammatory medications that their veterinarian had suggested. They also tried acupuncture. Refusing to give up, the Craigs purchased an adjustable dog wheelchair.

Callie took to her new ride, and within a few months she was mobile again! Now she doesn’t have to use the wheelchair. It’s a feel good story that shows how with loving care, good nutrition and patience, a seemingly doomed dog can make a major comeback. DiAnne Craig is so grateful for the success of the Walkin’ Wheels dog wheelchair that she set up a special fundraiser, through her online jewelry Facebook page, dedicated to helping the Handicapped Pets Foundation provide Walkin’ Wheels for pets in need.

Here’s a video of Callie, from her first days of paralysis to recovery.


newtraciepic2Tracie began her fascination with dogs and cats by turning her eye as a former investigative reporter on every aspect of living with them, resulting in her encyclopedic resources THE DOG BIBLE: Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know and then the THE CAT BIBLE: Everything Your Cat Expects You to Know. Before long, Tracie was established as a leading pet wellness advocate as her all-encompassing books covered everything from medical issues to behavior, nutrition and environmental enrichment.
Tracie began her career as a radio personality with a live show – DOG TALK® (and Kitties, Too!) – on the local NPR station in the Hamptons, Peconic Public Broadcasting (WPPB) from Southampton, New York (the show is now also carried on the NPR station Robinhood Radio in Connecticut and the Berkshires). DOG TALK® won a Gracie® Award (the radio equivalent of an Oscar) in 2010 as the “Best entertainment and information program on local public radio” and continues weekly after more than 450 continuous shows and 9 years on the air. Tracie’s live weekly call-in show CAT CHAT® was on SiriusXM satellite radio for seven years until the Martha Stewart channel was canceled in 2013.

Tracie lives in Vermont where the Radio Pet Lady Network studio is based, on 13 acres well-used by her all-girl pack – two lovely, lively Weimaraners, Maisie and Wanda, and a Collie-mix, Jazzy.

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