A RETIRED policeman from Alvechurch is back on dog patrol after just being fitted with a new hip.
But 67-year-old James McManus has not rejoined the force, where he worked for 30 years, but has resumed his role as a volunteer with The Dogs Trust helping to prepare dogs for a new home.
Mr McManus began working with the trust in 2012 but had to hang up his lead when the pain in his hip put a stop to him walking long distances or controlling larger dogs.
Now, following a hip replacement carried out by orthopaedic surgeon Andrew Pearson at Birmingham’s BMI Priory Hospital, Mr McManus is back in his stride and preparing to help rehabilitate more dogs now in care at the trust's Evesham centre.
He said: "Previously I looked after problem dogs, trying to cure their bad habits, but you need to be at full strength to do that.
"I was struggling to walk any distance at all and, with some of the bigger dogs, you have to be sure you can control them on the leash when you are out with them.
"It’s great to be able to get involved again and I am just about to take on a Doberman that is in need of some special care and attention. It is always a challenge but it is very rewarding."
Mr McManus, who was a detective sergeant by the time he retired, first felt pain in his hip while swimming on holiday. From then on the pain gradually got worse until it became difficult to exercise at all and he was losing sleep.
“I was unable to drive for any length of time and I even developed a limp," he said. I was covered by the Police Healthcare Scheme so I finally decided to get something done about it."
Surgeon Mr Pearson said: “James, like so many people of his age, just struggled on at first but in the end his quality of life became badly affected and only an operation was going to give him his mobility back.
“Keeping fit and on the move is an essential part of maintaining good all-round health so it is important that anyone suffering from any joint pains should see their doctor as soon as possible.”
Mr McManue added: "The operation went really well and it’s great to be out and about again. I’m now pain free and on the road to full fitness. I’m going to be doing a lot of work with The Dogs Trust in the years to come."