Since undergoing surgery to correct his paralysis, Opie has been staying at the Florida Veterinary Specialists and undergoing daily physical therapy sessions on an underwater treadmill.

The sessions start with Opie’s team of physical therapists hoisting his body into a large tub. They turn the water on, and let it come up to Opie’s neck. As his 78 pound body begins to float, Opie gets to experience a feeling of weightlessness as his rehab team moves his joints and massages his muscles.

“He can only handle this for a very short time,” says Dr. Felicity Talbot, the veterinarian in charge of Opie’s physical therapy. After about 3 minutes, Opie’s team takes him out of the tub.

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In the next several weeks, Dr. Talbot expects Opie to be strong enough to endure the underwater therapy twice a day. She hopes he’ll be able to walk again in the coming months.

The $45,000 underwater treadmill was paid for through donations to the Florida Veterinary Specialists Charitable Foundation.