Scooter/Bella finds a home and a job - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Scooter/Bella finds a home and a job

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) A little more than a month ago, we told you about Scooter, a 10-week-old puppy who suddenly lost the use of her back legs.

She was at a shelter in Waverly.... scooting around... waiting for a good home and someone who could help her walk again.

Occupational therapist Kimberly Sommermeyer saw the story on Scooter and adopted her.

Scooter is adjusting very well to her new home with Sommermeyer, her new name (Bella) and her new job at the Cedar Falls Health Care Center.

"They'll actually say good morning and hello to her first and me second. I haven't found anybody, staff or residents, who aren't in love with her," said Kimberly Sommermeyer who's with Aegis Therapies and works at the Cedar Falls Health Care Center.

Sommermeyer has two main goals for Bella: to walk again and to become a certified therapy dog.

Bella is already well on her way to achieving both.

"Some of our more challenging patients who aren't as motivated to do therapy will come and do therapy just because she's doing therapy," said Sommermeyer.

Bella's therapy includes a meri-walker. She also wears pink doggy splints that help keep her paws from curling under so it's easier for her to stand and start building muscle strength.

Sommermeyer said there's no spinal cord damage or broken bones, but Bella did suffer some type of injury.

"Especially her back legs and her hips were extremely tight and contracted," said Sommermeyer.

Without activity, Bella's muscles continued to tighten, which is a lesson for all pet owners.

"Usually when there's an injury or a trauma to the back and legs, it's crucial within six to eight hours to get them to the vet, give a steroid injection and medications right away and that's when they see the best results," said Sommermeyer.

Now Bella gets massages and jacuzzi baths to help loosen her muscles.

"We really have all confidence she will be walking. She might need a brace, she might not," said Sommermeyer.

In between her own therapy, Bella gives out kisses to Cedar Falls Health Care residents. Bella is a companion and a motivation for many residents.

"We love it. It's great. We have lots of residents who'd love pets. It's just a great opportunity to have somebody around they can interact with. Raises morale a little bit," said Cedar Falls Health Care Center Administrator Nathan Greiner. 

She isn't walking yet, but she is trying very hard.

"We have a long road ahead, but we have a good road ahead," said Kimberly Sommermeyer.

Reporter: Danielle Wagner

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