Truckee pug to be featured in first-ever Handicapped Pets Calendar | SierraSun.com

Truckee pug to be featured in first-ever Handicapped Pets Calendar

Tank, who lives in Tahoe Donner and enjoys hiking the Truckee area's trails, turned 14 on Aug. 29.
Courtesy HandicappedPets.com |

More online, on social media

Follow Tank the dog on Instagram: @tank_wheelinpug

Visit hpets.org to learn more about the Handicapped Pets Foundation.

Visit facebook.com/HandicappedPets to learn more about the 2016 Calendar Contest.

Visit handicappedpets.com to learn more about what kind of help exists for handicapped and aging dogs.

TRUCKEE, Calif. — Meet Tank. He’s a local dog who just turned 14, and if you didn’t know, well, he’s kind of a big deal.

“Truthfully, Tank is quite a ham and loves the attention; he gets a little extra swagger when people are loving on him,” said Tank’s owner, Truckee resident Lindsay Hogan. “People who don’t even know us, they’re always coming by and asking, ‘how’s Tank doing?’”

Don’t believer her? Tank even has his own Instagram account, if you want proof. Be sure to give him a follow — @tank_wheelinpug — and tag along for the adorable ride.

It’s a ride that will soon include the Truckee pug adorning a page in the inaugural Handicapped Pets 2016 Calendar, dubbed “Walkin’ Wheels.”

The call was put out earlier this year for the first-ever contest that saw more than 37,000 votes for 53 finalists, said Alicia Buonamano, Veterinary PR Specialist for Handicapped Pets, an East Coast company that designs and distributes wheelchairs and accessories for elderly, disabled and handicapped animals.

The 13 winners — Tank included — were announced Wednesday on Facebook.

Hogan (who runs a marketing and branding business called Lindsay Hogan Marketing) moved to Tahoe Donner with her husband, Ben, in July 2014, after Ben had lived here previously to enjoy the great outdoors.

“Tank has always been a super active dog, hiking with us all the time. He would even skin with us … and come out in the backountry quite often,” said Lindsay, referring to the uphill “skinning” ski-touring technique in the Sierra.

Last fall, however, Tank (who’s technically 98 in human years) started showing signs of pain in his spine, she said, which is common in pugs, corgis and other dogs that have longer bones and short legs.

“Basically, he … had compressed discs on the spine, like a human does,” she said. “He was slowly losing the use of his back legs, and having a hard time going on walks.”

The Hogans took Tank for acupuncture sessions at Tahoe Integrative Veterinary Care in Truckee with Dr. Wendy Robinson, who helped diagnose his back problems and clue the Hogans into the calendar contest.

“Wendy’s a saint, and that place is amazing,” Lindsay said. “Tank wouldn’t have his wheels if it wasn’t for their support.”

The crew at Handicapped Pets is currently deciding which dog gets the cover shot for 2016, Buonamano said, and which month is dedicated to each of the 12 other canines.

That should be sorted out next week; those interested in buying a calendar can fill out a form at the handicappedpets.com website.

While making those choices won’t be easy, Buonamano said one will: bringing the calendar contest back for 2017.

“This will definitely become an annual contest,” she said. “It was an overwhelming amount of submissions for photos, and it was amazing to see so much support coming from the handicapped-pet owner community.”

Portions of calendar proceeds will go to the Handicapped Pets’ nonprofit foundation, a 501(c)3 that is dedicated to the health and wellbeing of elderly, disabled and injured pets.