Girl, 4, sells le­mon­ade to get wheels for her pooch


Emma Wil­son is one happy puppy to be able to take her bea­gle-pug mix for a walk again now that he has a doggy wheel­chair.

The four-year-old’s dog Cop­per be­came par­a­lyzed in May while try­ing to jump into the fam­ily’s van, and the Wil­son fam­ily couldn’t af­ford the $8,500 vet bill for surgery.

He hurt his back, par­a­lyz­ing him from the waist down, and was only able to get around drag­ging him­self by the front paws.

Emma — in a fairy princess dress — started a le­mon­ade stand in front of her home on Cen­tre­field Dr. in Cour­tice this week and peo­ple lined up like it was the only drink­ing hole for miles in a desert.

Chil­dren have been crack­ing open their piggy banks and bring­ing fists full of change while some adults have been of­fer­ing bills for the 50-cent glasses of le­mon­ade.

On Thurs­day, an anonymous donor bought the Wil­sons an $800 dog wheel­chair to hold up the hind legs and be mo­tored by the front paws. By Fri­day, Cop­per was a spit­fire on two wheels.

The chair won’t only help Cop­per feel some­what like a dog again, it will also help the wounds on his legs and belly heal, no longer be­ing dragged to get around.

“My faith in hu­man­ity has been re­stored,” Emma’s mom Shan­nin Wil­son, a child youth worker at the Toronto dis­trict school board, said Fri­day, adding the wheel­chair is a dream come true.

“We didn’t know what kind of life Cop­per would have. We have had peo­ple who have con­tacted us who have dogs like this, and that sup­port means more than any­thing.”

Al­though all the coins haven’t been rolled and bills counted, Wil­son said they have met their fi­nan­cial goal for Cop­per to start wa­ter ther­apy on Satur­day in the hopes of a par­tial re­cov­ery and per­haps even laser ther­apy.

“Many things about Cop­per may be bro­ken but not his heart, and Emma is get­ting her dog back,” Wil­son said. “Even though he is in this sit­u­a­tion, he is still good with the kids and the same dog.”

Cooper has be­come quite a celebrity as the mayor of Oshawa, Durham Re­gional Po­lice and an Oshawa mo­tor­cy­cle club stopped by for a glass of le­mon­ade af­ter see­ing a post on so­cial me­dia.

“The en­trance of the bikes was loud and amaz­ing. These tough guys came up and asked for a glass of le­mon­ade and then took a pic­ture of Emma and Cop­per on the bikes,” said dad Jeremy Wil­son, a heat­ing and cool­ing steam fit­ter at the Hospi­tal for Sick Chil­dren.

There are still chal­lenges, as Cop­per has to be cre­ated of­ten be­cause he has no blad­der con­trol.

“He is part of the fam­ily and we have op­tions now,” Jeremy said.

The cou­ple said once the bills are paid, they would like to do­nate any­thing that is left over.

“If any­one knows any­one in need, let us know,” they said.

Cop­per can be reached at cop­per.pug­gle.ivdd@out­ and a Face­book page is be­ing set up so peo­ple can fol­low his jour­ney.


Emma, seen yes­ter­day with mom Shan­nin, raised money by sell­ing le­mon­ade for ther­apy and a wheel­chair for her dog Cop­per.


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