The North Bend Eagle


Student making wheelchair to improve pet's quality of life

by Nathan Arneal
Published 5/3/23

It started out as a joke between family friends when Tynen Blezek was gifted a pot-bellied pig as pet.

NBC senior Tynen Blezek holds Littlefoot, a pot-bellied pig who was born with a underdeveloped hind leg that hinders his ability to get around. Blezek plans on fixing that.

Soon it became part of the family. Families sometimes disagree and the Blezek pet pig had a quarrel with one of the family’s pet dogs. The dispute turned physical, and the pig did not survive.

A replacement pig from the same litter as the original joined the family this winter. She was dubbed Littlefoot after the baby dinosaur in the animated classic The Land Before Time.

The name also happens to be descriptive. Littlefoot has a birth defect that gave it a undersized hind leg.

“It’s got a limp,” Blezek said. “It can get around pretty fast, but it has a hard time on the wood floor.”

Yes, it’s an “inside pig.”

Blezek, a North Bend Central senior who is considering an engineering major in college, devised a solution for his hobbled hammy friend. He is making Littlefoot a wheelchair in his advanced skilled and technical sciences class under the supervision of teacher Roy Wright.

In the advanced STS class, as it is known, students devise their own projects. The first semester focuses on wood projects while the second concentrates on metals and welding.

Blezek has a couple notebook pages of hand-sketched schematics, measurements and plans for Littlefoot’s wheelchair.

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