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We had been thinking about getting another Golden Retriever for quite some time as our 9yr girl "Kimba" was starting to become very inactive in her later years.

Our decision to search for another rescue dog didn't go well due to lack of availability of Golden Retrievers, so we came across Puppy Palace Enoggera in which was the only place that was selling them at the time although it was not our ideal choice, we were very excited to get the chance to add to our Goldie clan.

After a rather difficult decision choosing just one pup out of 6, eventually we decided on a cream little pup 8 week old in which we eventually named "Bear".

On the 26th March 2014 at 6 months, Bear had an accident while both of us were at work. A neighbour heard a dog's loud yelp and rang the Ipswich Council they dispatched the pound to investigate a possible injured dog in the area.

We were contacted that Bear had an accident falling from a height of approx 3 metres from our verandah. Bear was taken to the RSPCA at Wacol for pain reliefand then was transferred to our vet at Brassall. After x-rays they could not determined the extent of his injuries due to the recent rain coated Bears fur with a thick layer of mud distorting the x-ray images. His condition was stiff legs and was unable to move, we drove him to the University of Gatton where he had a CT scan and it was determined that he had fractured his spine.

The surgery consisted of a plate being inserted and it was determine that he did not severe his spinal cord but after 48 hrs post surgery there was no deep pain sensation in his back and hind legs. We opted to do further surgery encase there was something that was missed, unfortunately the surgeon was unable to find anything wrong and a further 48 hrs later we still did not have a positive result in his use of his hind legs and it was determined that he would not walk again and was advised to put him sleep. We were not ready to give up on him yet and kept Bear in ICU for 2 weeks thinking that this was the best place for him at the time with a lot of professional people caring for him; he was spoilt rotten from constant visits from surgeons, nurses, students and family.

Even though he was paralysed his demeanour was always happy and he was never stressed by his situation on consultation with the surgeon, we decided to take him home for initially a period of one month to see if there was any improvement.

On Saturday 1th April, the day I took him home his surgeon noticed that while walking him in a sling that he was putting his left hind foot down and pushing a little with it, medically he shouldn't be able to do that. I was given training on how to express his bladder to ensure that he did not get a bladder infection and taking time off work so I could initially give him the 24hr care he needed.

We had weekly consults with his surgeon and decided whatever treatment that could potentially benefit him we did which included acupuncture and hydrotherapy sessions, on advice to get him swimming we came across The Links Dog Aquatic Centre and started swimming on the 29th May.

Over the last 4 months, he now moves both hind legs while he scurries across the floor, stepping with both legs while in a belly harness, flips himself on either side, crouches a small distance from the floor and tail wagging.

On the 11th July we bought Bear an adjustable cart to give him more independence and mobility, at 31kgs our backs were starting to become constantly sore from lifting his rear end in a belly harness.

Although the veterinary surgeon professional opinion is that Bear is never likely to walk again, he has become a constant medical mystery at the things he has been able to achieve to date and we will keep his rehabilitation up to ensure that he has the best quality of life that we can provide him with or without the full use of his back legs.

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