My name is Kelly Todd and I am a volunteer at Nebraska Dachshund Rescue.
I thought I would share my baby Mikey's story with you.
to visit our web site for his background story and his early pictures.
Mikey's story is a little different.
He does not have an amputation.
He was born with "angular limb deformity."
The vet said that we have until he is about 1 1/2 years old
to decide if we want to go ahead with corrective surgery.
He is now 10 months old and weighs 13 pounds.
I have noticed as he gets bigger and longer
that he is starting to struggle a little.
I also worry about arthritis as he gets older.
He still uses his special arm, so I don't want to have to get it amputated.
He has such an enthusiasm for life that it makes my heart sing.
Thanks for letting me brag about my baby.
And thanks for supporting all of us with our special babies.
Monday May 4, 2009
There were doubters who said that such a large breed dog couldn't make it
with one of his 3 legs missing, but his human Mom knew differently.
Here comes Emmett, the 3-legged St. Bernard!
He only uses this special doggie wheelchair when he's in public and visiting school kids.
At home, it's a different story.
Emmett's story begins less than 2 years ago,
when Libby Jackson of Portland Oregon got a feeling in her gut
that there was a special puppy out there waiting for her.
For some strange reason, I opened up Google and I decided to search
"St. Bernard puppy, special needs" and there, I came across a picture
of a 2-week-old puppy who was born with his leg severely deformed.
His breeder did not know what to do; they loved this puppy,
they decided not to euthanize this puppy, but they had no idea
whether there'd be someone in the United States who would want a puppy -
a St. Bernard puppy - with only 3 legs.
That "someone" was Libby. She believed in Emmett when few did.
The vet told me that Emmett's prognosis was "fair," at best.
But still, I was going to give it a try.
I was gonna do everything that I could to make sure that this dog
had as much chance as another dog with 4 legs.
So she found a different vet, also a doggie rehab specialist,
and a company who would make Emmett's wheelchair.
When other companies told me things like it was "cumbersome to have a wheelchair,"
that it "couldn't be done,"
Doggon' Wheels in Montana took the challenge.
That chair helps him maneuver and support his 115-pound body.
At home, Emmett gets along just fine.
Playing, lying on the couch, hanging out, but the Doggon' Wheels chair
allows Emmett and Libby to conduct "Project Emmett,"
going to schools and teaching kids about disabilities and overcoming obstacles.
And I'm showing them not what's different about Emmett,
but what's the same about Emmett and another dog.
The children light up. They also write letters.
"Dear Emmett: I think you can help people with disabilities
because you are in a wheelchair and other people are, too, 'cause you are a tremendous dog."
A truly inspirational dog who has his challenges.
Since dogs carry 60% of their weight in the front, it is no small feat
for a dog to walk around, play fetch and do all the things dogs do every single day
on just those 3 legs. Libby knows that also means that Emmett will probably
have a shorter life span than if he had 4 legs.
Every decision that I make regarding Emmett, I make for his quality of life,
not his quantity of life. I want Emmett to have the best life possible
and be the happiest dog possible. He's the happiest dog that I know;
the happiest dog that I have ever met. I know that for the rest of my life,
I can always look back on Emmett and smile. He's truly an incredible dog,
and it's a good reason why we call him "Emmett the Great."
Emmett and Libby are committed to talking to kids about disabilities,
beating the odds and breaking the mold.
Thanks for the inspiration, you two!
I'm Daryn Kagan and I hope you click all around
for more inspiring stories that show the world what's possible!