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Dagny was not allowed to buy a dog because she is in a wheelchair

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Dagny was not allowed to buy a dog because she is in a wheelchair

Due to a neuromuscular disease, Dagny Sofie Dahl is disabled and dependent on a wheelchair. She has used the chair since high school as relief, but from the age of 18 she has been dependent on getting around on wheels.

Dagny copes well in everyday life thanks to the wheelchair, but it can also present unforeseen challenges – such as getting a dog, for example.

– Having a dog means a lot to me – it means almost everything. Keeping dogs has taken up most of my everyday life for almost nine years now. I feel stupid saying it, but most of the joy and meaning in life comes from being able to give my dog ​​love and care.

Lene lived with great pain for over twenty years before she was diagnosed

Wanted to adopt an adult dog

Dagny believes that wheelchair users are not worse dog owners for that reason. Quite the contrary.

– People who are in the same situation as me can drive further than many people bother to walk, in order to exercise the dog. In addition, it is unfortunately the case today that most of us are not included in working life, and therefore become disabled. Which gives us plenty of time for dog care.

As Dagny is in a wheelchair, she wanted an adult dog, as it requires less training than a puppy. There will also be assistants who help raise the dog.

– As I depend on help from others, it will be difficult to be consistent with a puppy when several people are involved, and timing can be difficult. This means that it is not optimal to raise a puppy, but it works.

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“Wheelchair racists”

Dagny has had a dog since she was 12 years old, but when she applied for a new dog a short time ago, she experienced what she would describe as “wheelchair racists”.

Dagny wrote to seven different dog owners who were going to rehome their dog at Finn, as well as contacting a center for rehoming dogs, where she was interested in three of the dogs.

– I only got two answers about Finn, where one of them said that the dog didn’t suit me, because of my level of activity. The other person changed his mind because the journey was too long for the dog. When I was told by the dog center that the dogs I wanted were too much for me, I simply gave up and decided not to mention the wheelchair again.

NOT MENTIONED: When Dagny chose not to tell about the wheelchair, she received a positive response. Photo: Private Show more

And voila, Dagny got a positive answer.

– Of course, it feels very good, and I am very much looking forward to getting to know the new dog, and not least introducing the dog I already have, Shira, to our new family member, she says.

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– Sad

– What do you think about the fact that you had to leave out the wheelchair to get a positive answer?

– In a way, it was a relief to have confirmation that my assumptions were correct – I’m quite assertive and love to be right, she laughs.

Still, she thinks it’s a shame that people assume she’s not active, just because she’s dependent on a wheelchair.

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– It is sad to think that such prejudices are still out there.

– I had to cancel everything. I didn’t have a social life for quite some time

– Not surprised

– I am not surprised that she meets this type of attitude. It is a great shame that a person who has experience with dogs is met with stereotypical perceptions of what wheelchair users can do, says Tove Linnea Brandvik, head of the Norwegian Handicap Association.

She explains that disabled people encounter many prejudices in society, and often they are about the perception of what one can or should do.

– Many do not expect you to be active when you use aids. I myself have muscular dystrophy and have had a dog for the past 25 years, and know many wheelchair users who have dogs. So the assessment of whether having a dog is right for you is as individual as it is for everyone else who acquires a dog. You must assess for yourself whether you want to be able to follow up the dog and give it sufficient stimulation.

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