I never thought that my husband and I would come to own a three-legged dog. But, something about Penny just drew me in. Every time I went back to www.Petfinder.com, I bypassed all of the puppies and “normal” looking dogs and kept staring at Penny.
How did her front left leg turn out to be the way that it is? Why did three of her legs manage to form properly, but not the fourth?
From my previous post that introduces you to Penny, you will remember that we thought she would need special care. We were blown away when she preceded to jump on our furniture, bed, kitchen chairs, etc. Clearly, we knew nothing about three-legged dogs.
And I don’t believe that most people do. We just attended the Belleville Humane Society’s Races for Rescues walk on Sunday. Instead of taking our whole pack, we decided to split it in half and just bring three (way more manageable than six!). But, we never leave home without our pet stroller.
I’m sure that many people thought we were being cruel by making Penny walk and placing Adriel and Domino in the stroller. But, Penny was loving every second of the walk. She was hopping like a bunny through a carrot patch. Her ears were flopping up and down like crazy and we thought that she might actually take off flying!
Everyone that saw her was amazed. She was even out walking other four-legged dogs! “Look at her leg!” people would say. And of course, “Awww, that poor dog!”
Why are we so quick to label three-legged dogs as being “disabled?” Nothing about Penny’s stumpy leg or severe overbite prevents her from doing anything that a “normal” dog can do. In fact, her front right paw is much larger than her other paws because it has become stronger since she uses it so much to compensate for her other leg. We lovingly call it the “super paw.”
As we watched Penny continue to bound down the walking trail, I said to Matt, “It’s amazing that she knows how to walk on three-legs.” To which Matt replied, “Well, she was born that way. To her, this is how “normal” dogs walk.”
So true! Penny has never known any different. Unlike the three-legged Husky dog that we saw at the walk. He undoubtedly lost his leg due to a medical condition. But, even with one of his back legs missing, he was keeping up with his owner, who was briskly jogging.
Recently, I also came across the story of Two-legged t-rex. The dog is a Chiweenie who was born without front paws. Instead, he has two little numbs on the ends of legs. Again, my initial reaction was, “That poor little thing! How does he survive?”
I should have known better. Upon checking out the Youtube video on the dog’s Facebook page, I saw that he was no different from Penny…or Theo, Adriel, Cole, Domino or Peppe. He was able to walk around by using his back legs propulsion and his front legs for support as he scooted around his owner’s living room. There is even footage of him playing fetch in the back yard.
Dogs have such strong spirits. They persevere through the most horrific situations and prove to the world just how tough they are. And they do it all while wagging their tail as if to say, “Okay, world. Is that all you got? I can handle it!”
Humans can learn so much from these inspiring creatures. Dogs teach us that it’s not about what we don’t have, but how we use what we do have. So, the next time you come across one of these unique pooches, save your sympathy and watch as these dogs tackle life with courage, strength and love.