Border Collie With Wheelchair Participates In Agility And Inspires Others To Overcome Life’s Challenges

This is such an inspiring video and a lesson for everyone on how to deal with life’s obstacles! Sue and her Border Collie, Zip, compete in agility courses, but what makes their participation special is that the dog, who is a Master Agility champion, does the course in a wheelchair.

Before Zip become disabled, she would love to herd anything that moved and found an outlet for her passion in dog agility competitions. But on January 8, 2011, everything suddenly changed.

Sue told CNN iReport, “Zip was fetching sticks with a group of children at a Saints’ playoff party when she became the victim of a ‘hit and run’ reckless speeder. Her very active lifestyle came to an abrupt halt.”

Zip had emergency surgery but she had broken her back, fractured her hip and had internal injuries. She was in ICU for several weeks and very slowly got better with intense physical therapy. Despite her progress, healing was going to take a long time and Sue could tell her dog’s life spark was leaving her because she was no longer active.

Seven months after her accident, Zip went with Sue to an agility show to cheer on her brother (a Golden Retriever who shows in agility) from the sidelines. That’s when she noticed Zip perk up.

“Then one day I brought her to agility practice. It was too hot to leave her in the car so my husband put her on a mat near the field,” wrote Sue. “Suddenly Zip appeared at the base of the AF [agility field]. She’d crawled 60 feet from her mat; she wanted to play agility. A friend and my husband decided to put the bars down on the course and I was handed a leash attached to Zip’s wheelchair. They said, ‘Run her.’ I had reservations but Zip was gleefully barking by this time. We ran and she did great.”

Since that day, Sue and Zip continue to practice and participate in shows.

The video below is Sue and Zip participating in the Five Flags Dog Training Club in Pensacola, Florida held a Glory Run for Retired Agility Dogs on December 3, 2011.

“‘Zip has taught me many lessons but, having a disability myself, the most significant lesson is that you can’t let a disability keep you on the sofa,” explained Sue. “So many have told me that Zip has inspired them, that they were going through a difficult time in their life and that Zip gave them hope, or that she encouraged them to grab a problem by the horns and deal with it.”

What a wonderful story. I’m so glad Zip continues to do what makes her happy, despite her disability. Zip is a truly special dog!

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