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Paws and wheels: Zippy’s novel way of getting around after freak accident

Zippy the cockapoo from King's Lynn uses tiny rollerskates to help him walk after he was paralysed in a freak accident. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

Zippy the cockapoo from King's Lynn uses tiny rollerskates to help him walk after he was paralysed in a freak accident. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

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A dog whose back legs were left paralysed by a freak accident is making a really strong recovery.

Zippy the cockapoo (front left) from King's Lynn who uses tiny rollerskates to help him walk, with his owners Jean and Terry Stork and their other dog Stanley. Picture: Ella Wilkinson.Zippy the cockapoo (front left) from King's Lynn who uses tiny rollerskates to help him walk, with his owners Jean and Terry Stork and their other dog Stanley. Picture: Ella Wilkinson.

Zippy the cockapoo slipped a disc when he jumped off a sofa almost a year to the day ago. Within hours he was unable to walk.

Owners Terry and Jean Stork, from King’s Lynn, took him to the vet’s the next day. Zippy, then aged seven, was referred to a specialist animal hospital in Newmarket.

“They scanned him and said it was a slipped disc,” said college lecturer Mrs Stork, 64. “They operated on him but two weeks later, they said he wasn’t going to recover and asked if we wanted to have him put to sleep but I said no way.”

Mrs Stork said she and her husband Terry, 75, could not bear the thought of losing Zippy, whose accident happened the day after their other dog, 14-year-old spaniel Cosmo, was put to sleep at their home in South Wootton after developing a tumour. She added: “The whole of August fell apart.”

Zippy the cockapoo (centre) from King's Lynn who uses tiny rollerskates to help him walk, with his owners Jean and Terry Stork and their other dog Stanley. Picture: Ella Wilkinson.Zippy the cockapoo (centre) from King's Lynn who uses tiny rollerskates to help him walk, with his owners Jean and Terry Stork and their other dog Stanley. Picture: Ella Wilkinson.

Zippy began physiotherapy and was loaned a doggy wheelchair by charity Winston’s Wheels. But to begin with, he dragged his back feet.

Then the Storks imported a special pair of custom-made canine roller skates from America. Zippy is believed to be the first dog in the UK to wear the £94 sets of wheels.

Once he got his skates on, he was back out for walkies. At home, he can now stand and walk a few steps unaided.

“He’s getting stronger against all the prognoses,” said Mrs Stork. “We hope he’ll continue to improve. Our hope is one day he’ll be able to walk out into the back garden again.”

Zippy the cockapoo (centre) from King's Lynn who uses tiny rollerskates to help him walk, with his owners Jean and Terry Stork and their other dog Stanley. Picture: Ella Wilkinson.Zippy the cockapoo (centre) from King's Lynn who uses tiny rollerskates to help him walk, with his owners Jean and Terry Stork and their other dog Stanley. Picture: Ella Wilkinson.

Zippy, who worked as a therapy dog visiting schools and old people’s homes before his accident, is back on all four paws thanks to his wheels.

“He thinks they’re 4x4s,” said Mrs Stork. “He tried to climb up a tree after a squirrel when we were out in the woods the other day.”

Zippy has been shortlisted for an award. He has reached the final 10 selection stage in the Hero Pet category of the Amplifon Awards, which has been narrowed down from around 50 nominations chosen by people from across the country.

Four finalists will be selected in each category and the winner will be announced in October.

Zippy the cockapoo (centre) from King's Lynn who uses tiny rollerskates to help him walk, with his owners Jean and Terry Stork and their other dog Stanley. Picture: Ella Wilkinson.Zippy the cockapoo (centre) from King's Lynn who uses tiny rollerskates to help him walk, with his owners Jean and Terry Stork and their other dog Stanley. Picture: Ella Wilkinson.

Falklands War hero Simon Weston chairs the judging panel.


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