Canine agility champion returns to course after being paralyzed: ‘I’m crying’
Redo footage of the moment a paralyzed border collie named Zip completed a wheelchair agility course has gone viral on social media.
The video, originally from 2011, was posted to TikTok on Monday by Natalie Budziszewski (@natalie_budz), who wrote, “GO ZIP!!” It amassed over 1.5 million views and thousands of comments from tearful viewers, applauding Zip’s “genius spirit”. You can see the video here.
Before being crippled in a hit-and-run accident, Zip was a three-time champion agility dog, according to Rover, an online pet sitting service.
What is canine agility?
Dog agility is the fastest growing dog sport in the country, the American Kennel Club (AKC) said.
“[It] is a sport where you direct your dog through a predefined obstacle course within a certain time limit. Courses typically have between 14 and 20 obstacles, which can include tunnels, weaving poles, tire jumps, seesaws, and break tables where the dog must stop for a period of time,” AKC explained.
During competitions, dogs run on specially designed courses for that day, relying solely on signals and body language from their handlers to weave their way through.
All breeds can participate in agility as long as they have the right temperament.
“Is he very energetic? Does he like to run and respond to instructions? Does he get along well with other dogs? If so, agility might be a great choice,” AKC said.
According to Rover, Zip was energetic and intelligent. However, his handler, Sue Cohen, thought the border collie was “retired for good” following his accident. But Zip wouldn’t give up so easily.
“When [Cohen] took Zip while she was training one of her other dogs, she could see the light in Zip’s eyes as the dogs started running. After all the dogs were done, Zip’s family removed all the poles and let Zip run a flat version of the course, and she loved it,” Rover reported.
In the video, an excited, wheelchair-bound Zip runs the course alongside Cohen. Although the posts have been taken down, Zip still manages to get through each gate, prompting laughter from the audience.
“Come on little rockstar,” the video’s narrator said.
Once Zip completes the course, Zip walks over to Cohen as the entire audience erupts in applause.
Budziszewski’s commenters said the video brought them to tears, and many applauded Zip’s resilient spirit.
“His spirit was never broken,” Ashley said.
“Made me cry like crazy,” Ladyandtheblues wrote. “Dogs are so tough and pure.”
“Aww, I’m crying, that was so precious,” rara said.
“You can remove the dog from the show, but you can’t remove the show from the dog,” We Live on Stolen Land commented.
Anchor086 added, “True athlete. Never be broken. Awesome spirit.”
Other Viral Animal Moments
Newsweek obtained hilarious footage on Friday that shows a deer reacting in surprise when a woman speaks to him via a Ring doorbell camera. Also on Friday, a dog owner went viral after sharing a video of his black Labrador, Mr Moose, splashing around a lake while wearing a life jacket.
And TikTokers swooned down to a touching video of a rescue cat accepting kisses from its owner.