They can run and play just as well as four-legged dogs. And especially love just as much or more. Three-legged dogs have adapted to life as normal, running, jumping and playing just like a dog with four legs.
Four special pups come to Purr’n Pooch for daycare to play with friends or to stay when their parents are away. These dogs hold special places in their parents’ hearts, as well as the staff at Purr’n Pooch who cares for them.
For Naomi, Karma, Lefty and Eddie, life as three-legged dogs has been sweet, thanks to their loving pet parents.
Naomi, a 4-year-old dachshund mix, was rescued by Lilly Lambert from the SPCA in Eatontown, who couldn’t resist her cute face. Lilly, who lives in Tinton Falls, had just lost her dog of 15 years and wasn’t sure if she was ready for another pup. Then she saw Naomi, who has only three legs, and knew it was her destiny to give her a good home.
“I immediately knew she was mine,” said Lilly. “There was just an instant bond with her. There was no adjustment period or getting used to each other period. We fit perfectly from the very beginning.”
For Daniel DeMuro of North Brunswick, it was a life or death situation. His dog Karma, who he rescued while in college, developed bone cancer. He opted to have the leg removed in an effort to save Karma.
“It’s now been over five years and it still baffles vets that Karma beat the odds stacked against him,” said Daniel.
Karma, a mini ridgeback/boxer mix, had a special place in Daniel’s heart before the surgery, and it’s safe to say that love has swelled due to Karma’s incredible resiliency.
“Every day with Karma is special and I realize even more so having almost lost him five years ago,” said Daniel. “It’s wonderful to see him live his life out gracefully, even if only on three legs. In fact, even better on three legs.”
Lefty is another special three-legged pooch who was rescued by Michael Miller and his wife. The two set out to rescue a dog who looked like a miniature version of their own shepherd/pit mix. But when Michael, who lives in Red Bank, noticed Lefty lying in the middle of the floor and laid down with him, it was an instant love.
The now 12-year-old German Shepherd/Akita mix had come to the shelter with his leg attached, but broken. The leg was amputated shortly before the Millers adopted Lefty.
“He had a pretty traumatic event as a puppy, but that hasn’t affected his personality in an adverse way,” said Michael. “He obviously was not treated properly by a previous owner but he still loves humans.”
Justine Keefe of Ocean Township found her three-legged love at Purr’n Pooch, where she works as a groomer. Eddie, formerly known as Romeo, had been rescued from the Dominican Republic by a local vet doing rescue work. Eddie had been hit by a car and his leg had to be amputated. His missing leg would have made it virtually impossible for him to be adopted in the Domincan Republic, so he was brought to New Jersey. Once here, he went through another surgery to remove a broken piece of bone in his hip socket. After several therapy sessions to build strength in his hind leg, Eddie now runs faster than ever before, even outrunning many dogs on the beach.
“What makes Eddie so special is his spirit,” said Justine. “As my neighbor put it, ‘he has every reason to be mad at the world and he isn’t!’ I think he knows he finally hit the jackpot when he came here and he really deserves it.”
Just as much as these spirited pups have had their lives changed by finding compassionate and caring parents, Lilly, Daniel, Michael and Justine are the true lucky ones.
“I feel so happy to have met Eddie,” said Justine. “He gives us so much. He loves us and his big sister, Nellie, and he was a great little brother to Harry, our senior dog who we lost in February. Eddie really compliments our whole family.”
When the Millers look at Lefty they don’t see a dog with special needs. They see a dog with a great personality who is now their family.
“I don’t see it as a big deal since we adopted a dog from a shelter, which is the important part,” said Michael. “He also happens to only have three legs.”
Speaking of personality, Karma is overflowing with it. While often calm and wise, Karma knows how to have a good time.
“Sometimes he can’t keep his joy inside his big personality with lots of energy,” said Daniel. “He lives to give love to others.”
Lilly finds joy in giving love to a dog who needs her.
“She’s so appreciative of the environment I can provide her,” said Lilly. “But she just gets me. She understands my psyche.”
All of these special dogs spend time at Purr’n Pooch, learning to socialize and getting the opportunity to run, jump and play with their pup friends.
Purr’n Pooch has the services and the staff available to care for special needs pets, and the building is adapted to their special needs.
“Living with my own dog Louise, who was an amputee due to cancer, made me understand and realize that animalswith disabilities are not disabled from loving or doing many activities,” said Dick Palazzo, president of Purr’n Pooch Pet Resorts. “Louise gave back in return a love of life that I found unmeasurable to the norm. My passion for Louise and others like her inspired me to develop and build a unique environment at Purr’n Pooch to house and care for all pets, those with special needs, blind, deaf, geriatric, or any pet with a medical misfortune.”
Three-legged pets can live long and healthy lives with minimal adjustment to compensate for their missing limb. If you are interested in adopting a special animal, visit your local animal shelter.