Adventures in Dog Walking in My Stretto

My parents are always imagining the worst-case scenario, especially when I want to go outside alone in my wheelchair. “What if you get hit by a car and get sent flying 20 feet into the air only to bang your head on a passing bird?” Like seriously, I know it’s probably possible, but that would take some severely rotten luck. I am trying to teach my parents to be less overprotective, especially because with my Stretto Power Wheelchair with iLevel® technology, cars can see me easily when my seat is elevated.

I love you mom, but I’m a 15 (almost 16-year-old) young woman and I think I can take a walk by myself. I have a disability. This is my life and I have to learn to deal with whatever comes my way. If you think about every single possible danger all the time, you’ll never let me leave the house! My mom agreed and said I was right.

So, last weekend, I decided to take a walk with my dog in the early morning. My parents didn’t warn me about a thing! We went further than we ever had. I met a lot of people and dogs who live in my neighborhood who I never saw before. People were friendly and I stopped and chatted a couple of times. I met an extremely sweet dog named Charlie who was a poodle mix.

It’s a good thing my parents didn’t know in advance what happened next. Fun fact: when you live in Arizona, it’s not uncommon to see coyotes running around, whether it be in your neighborhood or during a hike. The only times I’ve witnessed or heard stories about them it was always at night. During my early morning walk, Molly and I spotted two wild coyotes in the front yard of a neighbor’s house! We even saw them jump over a 5-foot-high wall. Honestly, it was really cool seeing coyotes in person, jumping over walls and fences while looking me in the eye.

On my way back home, I met a couple who were also walking their dog. They told me to be careful of two coyotes they saw. So, if the coyotes I saw were the same ones they saw, it means those coyotes crossed the yards and fences of 3 houses. That is pretty impressive to me since I can’t jump even an inch off the ground.

When I got home, I told my mom and dad about our adventures: Molly pooped, I learned that big dogs mean big poops and I ran into two wild coyotes. I don’t think that made them feel any better about letting me out, but that’s all in the past.

About Maddie Kasten: Maddie is a Q Roll Model for Quantum Rehab. She lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and enjoys participating in adaptive sports, playing video games and watching anime. Click here to learn more about Maddie.