Kelli Krysh, 36, is a desperate woman.
That’s because Penny, her beloved corgi, is suffering from degenerative myelopathy. It’s a chronic disorder that eventually destroys the spinal cord. This means that Penny’s rear legs will slowly deteriorate and she will become paralyzed.
But Kelli loves her dog so much that she will do anything for Penny. She spent $650 to get Penny a doggy wheelchair and forks out anywhere between $800 and $1,000 a month for Penny’s treatments. This includes supplements, acupuncture, laser treatment, and water treadmill therapy.
Watch to learn more of Kelli’s story below!
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Kelli, of Los Angeles, California, said: “I probably spend between $800 to $1,000 a month on Penny but I’m lucky that I can afford it.
“It has helped to keep her going.
“I now feed her a raw diet which is supposed to reduce inflammation so she eats raw turkey and goat’s milk.
“She runs on a water treadmill which keeps her buoyant. She also has laser treatment and occasionally she has acupuncture.”
While there is no known cure for degenerative myelopathy, Kelli has high hopes for Penny.
“Right now she can still get around, she is very happy. When I take her on walks, people are always in love with her and enamored with her.
“She is not aware of what’s happening to her – she still loves to play and loves to see people.”
Given the amount of money she spends on Penny’s treatments, Kelli understands why people may be taken aback. But she explains that Penny is like “her child.”
Kelli, who works in film production, said: “I am single, I don’t have kids. Yes, I could spend some of that money on trips or invest it but Penny is like my child. I made an agreement when I got her to take care of her for the rest of my life and I am fortunate that I am able to afford to do that.”
Kelli’s first hint of worry occurred in the summer of 2018 when she noticed Penny shuffling her feet.
A subsequent genetic test confirmed that Penny carried the genetic mutation that causes the disorder.
Kelli said: “We started physical therapy and it has helped her keep going. There are online communities for other owners with dogs who suffer from degenerative myelopathy. It seems like it affects some dogs a lot faster than it has affected Penny. She has managed to stay the same for a while now.”
Kelli went to a website that specializes in wheels for pets and ordered Penny’s doggy wheelchair in November 2018.
She said: “You take certain measurements and they custom build the wheels for you. Corgis have a weird anatomy so if they are not properly fitted into their wheelchairs they can have back problems. Pets in wheelchairs are becoming more prominent and it’s great because they still live happy lives.”
Penny practically came to life on the wheels.
“When I put her in the wheelchair for the first time, she just took off running,” Kelli said. “She comes to my office every day and my colleagues and I were all crying when I first put her in the wheelchair. But she still likes to roam around the office and harass people for treats.”