Everyone’s fallen in love with disabled Crufts puppy that’s just learned to walk

A disabled puppy who took his first steps without a wheelchair just days ago, has been given a hero’s welcome at Crufts.

Hungarian Vizsla Gilbert has struggled to walk ever since he was accidentally trodden on days after being born.

The dog’s spine was left permanently injured, with his right hip crushed.

PIC FROM Kennedy News and Media (PICTURED: Gilbertthe dog) A disabled puppy fitted with a wheelchair after losing his hind legs has been given a hero???s welcome at Crufts - just days after taking his first steps. Vets wanted to put one-year-old Hungarian Vizsla Gilbert down after he was trodden on just days after being born. But Jane and Kevin Bircumshaw took in the stricken pet and nursed him back to health, bursting into tears of joy after filming him finally walking without the aid of his special chair. SEE KENNEDY NEWS COPY - 0161 697 4266
The pup’s vets wanted to put him down after his hip was crushed in an accident (Picture: Kennedy News and Media)

Vets believed the only option was to put the pup down at the age of one, after he struggled to get over the life-changing injuries.

But Jane, 57, and Kevin Bircumshaw, 61, took in the stricken pet and nursed him back to health, and later burst into tears of joy after filming him finally walking without the aid of his specially fitted wheelchair.

Thanks to the donations of kind-hearted Vizsla lovers around the world, Gilbert has undergone £23,000 worth of treatment to get him back on his paws.

Bournemouth-based painter and decorator Kevin was overwhelmed when he saw their beloved pet walk unaided for the first time.

His wife, Jane burst into tears watching the ‘special moment’.

Kevin said: ‘We normally video everything he does for his Facebook page but the camera was shaking so much, it was just such an emotional moment for us, there were plenty of tears.

If you have an older dog with tooth troubles, add a little water or chicken broth to his or her kibble and microwave for 20 to 30 seconds.

Gilbert disabled Hungarian Vizsla (Picture: Gilbert's Journey/Facebook)
The pup was welcomed like a hero at Crufts (Picture: Gilbert’s Journey Facebook)

‘He’s always going to need the wheelchair for walking around outside, he’s never going to do that on his own but we’re confident he’ll be able to walk round the house and live a normal life within home.’

Although Gilbert enjoys whizzing around in his chair, Kevin said he loves seeing his pup’s tail wagging with pride when he walks without assistance.

Gilbert disabled Hungarian Vizsla (Picture: Gilbert's Journey/Facebook)
Gilbert’s owners said the first time he walked without a wheelchair was emotional (Picture: Gilbert’s Journey Facebook)

‘It makes all the difficult days worth it,’ he added.

Crufts is known for its famous Best in Show prize, which awards medals for perfection in the pursuit of finding the ultimate Pedigree.

Although Gilbert won’t be able to compete for that prize, few other preened canines can match his resilient spirit.

Gilbert disabled Hungarian Vizsla, water treadmill therapy (Picture: Gilbert's Journey/Facebook)
Gilbert receiving water treadmill therapy to help him walk (Picture: Gilbert’s Journey Facebook)

Kevin said: ‘Thousands of people have donated money to help him get as far as he is, it’s just nice that they can meet him.

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Make him part of the family. Pets, especially dogs, need companionship. They are traditionally pack creatures and need the warmth and love that comes with living indoors with their family.

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‘Crufts is a celebration of all dogs, not just champions and he sees all the other dogs here and thinks he’s just like them.

‘It’s been lovely to see people fall in love with him just like we did.’

Since the pair adopted the pup a year ago, Gilbert has undergone two major operations and hydrotherapy treatment costing £1000 a month.

Gilbert disabled Hungarian Vizsla (Picture: Gilbert's Journey/Facebook)
The next step for the pooch is stem cell therapy (Picture: Gilbert’s Journey Facebook)

Along with the costly medical care, Gilbert enjoys a daily massage to help him walk on his own four paws.

The next step is stem cell therapy which Kevin and Jane hope will help heal his bones and muscle.

Housewife Jane, 57, said: ‘He’s a fighter and he’s fought all the way, so watch this space.

‘We couldn’t put something down that we’d fallen in love with.’