A Rottweiler was diagnosed with a syndrome threatening to leave him paralysed, after his owner noticed his ‘wobbly’ walk.
Christine Birchmore, 42, of Wimbledon, brought Sidney home in April 2019, at 11 weeks old.
Despite Christine noticing the first symptoms early on, he was diagnosed with Wobbler Syndrome in June 2020, after suffering a severe fit while on a walk.
The disease affects seven of his vertebrae and will leave him paralysed unless he gets a £14,000 surgery in time.
Christine said: “There is something special about him that I can’t quite put into words. He is unassuming, so gentle.
“It’s quite funny because before he was diagnosed, people would stop me and ask if he had arthritis and I would just say: ‘No, he’s just having a bit of a wobbly day.’”
Christine, a caterer before lockdown, set up a GoFundMe and a Facebook page to fund-raise money for the surgery, and managed to raise £8,608.
She said: “Genuinely, I don’t have words to thank all the people that helped me, I had friends and neighbours come with envelopes with cash through my front door.
“Especially bearing in mind that everybody is in a similar position with the virus and the lack of work, it is genuinely heart-warming.”
She added: “Obviously I want to get Sid fixed, but if it helps anyone else along the way, that can only be a good thing.”
Christine believes that her three kids, Reece, 25, Scott, 21, and Ronny, 11, have helped her deal with Sid’s situation.
She explained: “It’s been hard for Ronny, but equally his attitude to it has been incredible.
“His granddad the other day asked him whether he would prefer a present for Christmas or for money to be donated towards Sid, and he said he would rather money be donated towards Sid, which was lovely.
“I adore Sid, I would put up a fight for him anyways, but that just gives you that extra ‘I’ve got to fix this’.
“They’ve all been very helpful, Ronny has been out with me putting up posters in the local parks, talking to people about it.
“Ultimately, if Sid doesn’t get the surgery, he will be paralysed. There is no getting away from that.”
Christine has another dog, Missy, 10, a rescued Rottweiler-Collie cross.
She said: “Her relationship with Sid is brilliant.
“It’s comical, they play with each other, though she is a bit like a grumpy old woman sometimes.
“Overall, they love each other, and she’s always been calm and gentle with him.”
You can donate to the Go Fund Me here.