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How Willy Got His Wheels (1998) by Deborah Turner and Diana Mohler, illustrated by Rhonda McHugh, documents the life of Wheely Willy, a paraplegic chihuahua from Long Beach, California. He became a world celebrity as the subject of two bestselling children's books, the first shown above.

He honestly was one of the cutest chihuahuas ever, a bold happy fellow and true inspiration to wheelchair-bound people and to children generally.

In the photo down at the bottom of this page, Wheely is in a race with a buddy who is also in a wheelchair.

On his visits to charity events and children's hospitals, he gave proof that it was possible to require a wheelchair, yet express one's life in terms of utter joy.

His life hadn't started out as so much fun. He'd been an injured and abandoned pup left on a Los Angeles street inside a taped box, seriously injured, with no home to really call his home until Deborah Turner rescued him those many years ago.

After a long life with Deborah, Willy had reached the great old age of twenty and perhaps even older than that since his birthday was unknown. Then, early in 2009, while carrying Willy to one of his charitable appearances, Deborah took a terrible fall on a slick porch step, and both were seriously injured. It was a catastrophic event for such an elderly dog.

Willy in his great old age endured multiple surgeries to remove damaged teeth in his broken jawbone, and to put a pin in a broken femur.

After a couple months of both Deborah and Willy recovering, they were back on the road doing therapy work and making an appearance at a veterinarian convention in Las Vegas, Willy still recouperating on a soft pillow, and Deborah in a wheelchair, as shown in the picture at left. So even his last year on Earth had its joys, though he never would fully recover from the accident.



Wheely Willy's Website

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