Ken and Gwen Ellerbeck with this dog Fraser.

Everybody’s friend

A local family has gone through a stressful number of months after their dog fell terribly ill

Fraser’s owners simply call him everybody’s friend.

The lovable basset hound-cross hasn’t had the easiest go of things in the past while, but retains his approachable and affectionate personality, despite the fact he can barely walk any longer.

Ken and Gwen Ellerbeck’s 12-year-old dog was born in August 2000 at the Thunderhorse Ranch in Dewdney, and they have had him ever since.

On Feb. 6, 2011, Fraser was going out for his walk with Ken when the pooch found something intriguing on the ground and swallowed it. Whatever it was caused a stroke, and eventually rendered him unable to stand.

“It was devastating and it was so fast,” said Ken. “He was completely immobile.”

After a number of visits to veterinarians and specialists, and a 12-day stay in a Vancouver pet hospital, little had changed.

The Ellerbecks took Fraser down to Mission Veterinary Clinic and Dr. Susan Calverly took on the challenge of helping the animal, working with him everyday on rehabilitation, bringing him to the point of being able to stand and walk a short distance. He was also eventually outfitted with leg braces.

“We can’t say enough, and thank Susan and her staff for taking care of Fraser and us so wonderfully well,” said Ken.

And while Fraser can’t walk very far, the Ellerbecks continue to take him on his regular walking route, except he gets to go for a ride in a wagon. And he has a sled for the snowy days.

A year and seven months later, Fraser is the hit of the neighbourhood, said Ken.

“We meet wonderful people along our walk and everyone is interested in Fraser and gets to love him.”