Lucy poses for her fans part way to the top of Mt. Washington, a climb that took the handicapped animal six hours. "I think many people underestimate handicapped pets and don't realize just how much they can do given proper care and training," explained owner Courtney Dunning of Peterborough, New Hampshire.
The dog's wheelchair comes from Handicapped Pets, which claims that the Walkin' Wheels dog wheelchair lets disabled dogs to do more than simply survive injuries once considered life-ending.
Wednesday’s six-hour journey to the summit of Mt. Washington was no easy feat, including several breaks for food and water (as well as one diaper change). Accompanying Lucy on the climb to provide supplies and to document the adventure were a total of five people and one other dog -- Lucy's canine companion Topper, a Chihuahua mix who was rescued from Puerto Rico.
Lucy and Topper (and their human friends) break for photos, and perhaps to smell the roses during their six-hour trek.
Lucy and owner Dunning prepared for their climb up the Mt. Washington Auto Road with several weeks of training, which included gradual increases in both mileage and altitude as well as a test trek up the first two miles of the road in mid-July.
Upon reaching the summit, Dunning said how proud she was of Lucy and acknowledged the Mt. Washington Auto Road and its employees for their support, which included providing advice for the two-mile test trek in July, opening the gates at 5:00 a.m. -- and offering a ride back to the base of the mountain.
"She's such a go-getter," owner Dunning said in an interview with the Union Leader. "Nothing stops her, she'll try anything. She goes up steps, she jumps off steps. She goes for walks, she goes for runs. Even at a full-out sprint, she far outdoes me."
Lucy, a 4-year old mixed breed, was paralyzed four years ago in a car accident in Puerto Rico. On Wednesday she climbed to the top of Mt. Washington in a special harness, becoming the first paralyzed dog ever to scale the 6,288-foot peak.