Norwich's dog-on-wheels to appear on Blue Peter
PUBLISHED: 11:46 10 July 2019 | UPDATED: 09:17 11 July 2019
Hector the beagle is one of the stars of a Blue Peter pet party to be screened today.
Hector, the dog on wheels, is already a celebrity in Norwich. Today, Thursday July 11, he makes his debut on national television.
Beagle Hector, and his beagle brother Reggie, will help welcome the new Blue Peter dog - a beagle basset called Henry.
Six-year-old Hector was born with disabled front legs and gets around by propelling a custom-made wheelchair with his back legs. He was taken in as a puppy by Victoria and James Haddon, and their children, Ellie, Max and Freddie, of Unthank Road, Norwich, and last year starred in a children's book by Victoria.
She and her daughter, and Hector and Reggie, travelled to the Blue Peter studios in Salford for the filming.
"It was very exciting!" said Victoria. "They were holding a beagle/basset party for the new Blue Peter dog, Henry, who is a beagle basset cross and invited Hector as a 'beagle with a story to tell.'
"He literally stops the traffic when we go out, so many people come up to us and ask about his story," said Victoria. "There have been some near-death experiences, but he's a survivor. A lot of the mishaps have been Hector trying to follow Reggie on an adventure and not taking his wheels into account!"
And people even thank him for bringing happiness into their lives.
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Victoria first heard about Hector when a friend went to get a new puppy. One of the litter had been born with no bones in one front leg, and problems with other, and desperately needed a home.
The Haddon family already had a beagle - but were soon convinced that Reggie needed a little beagle brother. At first they carried Hector around, but as he grew heavier and wanted to go further, they discovered a company in America making canine wheelchairs. At first Hector was reluctant to try it, but a trail of sausages brought a breakthrough and today there is sometimes literally no stopping him as he races around parks, gardens, woodland and fields, as well as winning friends and admirers rolling along city pavements.
Hector is used to lapping up the attention on his daily walks. And after appearing in this paper last summer he went on to feature in several national newspapers.
"It was great to see all the beagles and bassets who came to the Blue Peter party," said Victoria. "Henry, the new Blue Peter dog, is lovely, really handsome. He looks exactly like a beagle, but on short legs (the basset part). The Blue Peter team perhaps hadn't quite realised what they were letting themselves in for when they got Henry (who was a rescue from the Dogs Trust) and were telling us about all his beagle-y habits on set - running about crazily in the studio, food-obsessed, being generally uncooperative, but always great fun! This was no surprise to us as beagley people.
Hector and Reggie did meet Henry, but he was rather overwhelmed with everything that was going on - busy hosting his party!
"There were about 70 dogs altogether and they were amazingly well behaved and looked just great in their party hats!"
Hector's Wheels, illustrated by Sophia Fletcher of Norwich, is published by Matador for £7.99.
See Hector and Reggie on Blue Peter on Thursday July 11 at 5.30pm on CBBC.