A six year old Brittany Spaniel named Dexter has become an internet sensation after his owner posted footage of him walking on his hind legs. Dexter lives in Ouray, Colorado with his owner Kentee Pasek. The two are well-known all over town because of the unique way that Dexter walks. However, it is always Dexter that gets most of the attention. Dexter was injured after he was run over by a vehicle when he was only one year old. He was sniffing deer when he escaped from his home and he ended up having his front paws ran over by a truck as he darted out onto a busy road. Immediately after the accident had taken place, there was some uncertainty over whether Dexter would survive at all. His front two paws were both seriously injured. Pasek’s husband Tim was a witness to the accident and was able to tourniquet both of his front legs before they rushed Dexter to the vets. He works as an EMT so he had the skills and knowledge needed to be able to give Dexter the best chance.
In the two years before Dexter’s accident, Pasek had lost two other dogs. She knew that she would not be able to bring herself to agree to Dexter being put to sleep. On the ride to the vets he placed his head in her lap and this was the moment she knew that they would do everything in their power to save him. The vet that treated him felt that he would be able to survive his injuries and even believed that the time would come when he would thrive again. One of his front legs needed to be amputated, and he had surgical pins inserted in the other leg. Pasek was really proud of the way Dexter handled his recovery. He had to have several surgeries and there was a lot of rehabilitation work that was needed. There was no doubt that Dexter was determined in his recovery.
Pasek explained to The Know about the first time she saw Dexter use his hind legs., which was only a few weeks after his amputation. They were in the garden and she went inside to make herself a drink. When she came back out again he was on the porch. She was curious how he had gotten up there so quickly. She carried him back down the steps and was amazed to see him climb back up the five steps to the porch using his hind legs. Before long he began to show that he was very comfortable with just using his back legs to walk. He mastered this skill with ease and soon he was using his hind legs to walk about all the time. Channel 9 News reported that he seemed to prefer this to walking on three legs. He would alternate between two and three legs on his walks, but would always go for two legs when there were people around. He certainly seemed to revel in the attention that he got.
It had never occurred to Pasek that people online would be just as interested in his story as the people of Ouray. Dexter was out for a walk one day with Pasek’s mother when someone recorded him walking on his hind legs and posted it on TikTok. The response was so positive that Pasek decided to set up a TikTok and Instagram account for Dexter. She already had plenty of videos of her own that she had been recording of Dexter since he began to walk on his hind legs so she began to upload those as well. She could never have expected the response she got to both of these accounts. He has over 227,000 TikTok followers and 70,000 followers on Instagram. These numbers are growing all the time as more people become aware of his story. There have been several news outlets which have featured his story and a clip of him walking has also been shown on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. The total number of views that his videos have received on TikTok has reached more than five million. He has always been something of a celebrity in Ouray, but now he is being seen by people all over the world.
Both of his social media accounts are managed by Pasek. This is something that is keeping her busy at the moment, as she unfortunately lost her job as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. She worked as a manager at a hot spring pool where the staffing levels have been reduced due to the restrictions in place in Colorado. Metro reported that managing Dexter’s social media has given her a reason to get out of bed every morning. The conversations she had with people online about Dexter also made it easier for her to stay positive. With the number of followers Dexter has, it would be quite easy to start to monetize his accounts. However, this is something that Pasek is reluctant to do. Her whole reasoning for sharing the videos and photos on social media is to show how proud she is of how far Dexter has come since his accident. She also hopes the content will inspire people not to give up on the challenges they face, even if it seems all hope is lost. The Paseks and the vets taking care of Dexter after the accident both agreed that it was his force of will that enabled him to survive.
Dexter is unaware of how much attention he is getting on social media. He is the same happy dog that he has always been, despite the difficulties he has faced. He still loves all the attention that he gets from the people of Ouray who have taken him into their hearts. Life has been difficult for Kentee Pasek since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic but looking at Dexter gives her hope that things can only get better, for her and the community as a whole.