Three Legged Dog Club
Cassie's Club Members

Hi, I have a dog named Toby. Last year he had to have his front leg amputated because of cancer. Unfortunately his cancer has spread and he will not live much longer. I wanted to share this because I never regretted (after the first 2 days) having his leg removed. I am sure I made the right decision. It gave us an extra year together. He recovered quickly and could do everything he could before (only slower). He even still swims. It took him about 3 seconds to adjust to having one less leg in the pool. He still plays hide and seek with the kids and still does everything he ever did. The first few days after surgery were hard but it wasn't long before he could do everything again. I worried so before I had his leg removed and then I foung your web site last year and it really helped. Please put my favorite picture of Toby on your web site. I didn't put a picture of his legs because he is still the same with or without his leg. Thanks,

Maryann and Toby

Hi there. I ran across your site on the Internet. I have a three-legged dog named Tripod. He was a rescue dog. He was a feral dog roaming the streets of East St. Louis with a pack of feral dogs...he was found around Christmas time in 2001.

It was about 10 degrees below zero. Apparently, someone chopped off part of his leg with an ax and left him to die. Stray Rescue of St. Louis spotted him hobbling and rescued him. His wound had frozen closed because of the frigid temperatures. Needless to say, they had to amputate his front right leg. I agreed to foster Tripod shortly after his surgery. His story is remarkable. He is an outstanding dog. I am attaching a copy of his story to this email. I would love to have more info on this club. Thanks.

Christy Henson and Tripod (and Duke too).

When I first picked Tripod up from Dr. Ed's office, I was looking forward to a challenging but rewarding fostering experience. After all, Tripod has just had his front leg amputated only a couple of weeks prior to fostering. I thought that nothing could be better than helping a once unwanted dog gain the confidence and love that he needed to become part of a loving family. I was thinking about all of the wonderful things that I could teach Tripod, not realizing that he has so much to teach me.

At first, Tripod seems so scared and depressed. With a perpetual worried look on his face, he would whine and hop around the house aimlessly. He clearly wasn't comfortable being inside a house. On the first night, I found Tripod sleeping under some brush in my back yard and had to coax him into coming back inside the house. Tripod didn't think that he belonged indoors and was reluctant to enter the house, despite the frigid temperatures outside. It was then that I made a promise to Tripod: I would make sure he would never have to spend another night shivering outside in the cold alone.

After a few days, Tripod began to feel more at home. Although still submissive, Tripod became less timid and began to show some of his personality. Realizing that he was loved and safe, Tripod became more affectionate and playful. Within just a week, Tripod was turning into a very loving and loyal companion.

Because Tripod seemed to be adjusting so well to his new temporary home, I thought I might try taking him to an adoption day. When I put on his leash and collar, Tripod became very excited and started dancing and wagging his tail. This all changed when we stepped through the doors of PetSmart. Upon entering the store, Tripod became extremely frightened. Before I knew what was happening, Tripod had slipped out of his collar and ran out of the store. I frantically chased Tripod into a nearby park. With the help of Randy and some other volunteers, we searched the entire park, but to no avail. By the end of the day, it was clear that Tripod would have to spend the night alone in the park. This was heartbreaking for me because I had made a promise to Tripod that he would never have to spend another night alone in the cold. Here it was, just ten days after I had made that promise, and the poor little guy was alone again.

After work the next day, with the help of Liz and Eric, I posted "Lost Dog" signs around the area. I called the local animal shelters and searched the park some more. Tripod was still lost. I decided to take the next day off from work in order to post more signs and search the area some more. I spent the early part of the morning posting signs along South Lindbergh and West Watson. I decided to come back home to check my answering machine before heading back to put up more signs. As I was pulling into my driveway, I saw him. There he was! I couldn't believe my eyes. My little three-legged dog was curled up at the top of my driveway waiting for me to come home. It was a miracle. Somehow, Tripod had managed to find his way home on just three legs. This was an impossible feat for any dog, not to mention one who has just had major surgery to remove a limb. Although I was full of emotion, I had to contain myself as I got out of my car. I was concerned that if I appeared too excited I might scare him off. I soon saw that I had nothing to worry about, for Tripod came hopping toward me, whining and frantically wagging his tail in circles. Tripod was finally home and he knew it.

As he lay in my house, recovering from his long voyage home, I realized that Tripod finally knew that this was his home. This was where he belonged. It was then that I decided to adopt Tripod. He was just too special of a dog to let go. By adopting Tripod, I knew that I would not have room to foster any more dogs. This was an enormous sacrifice for me. Fostering dogs can be a challenging and sometimes difficult task, but ultimately it is one of the most rewarding experiences a person can have. To help transform a dog from a scared and abused creature into a loving and loyal companion is a truly remarkable thing. It is something that I will miss greatly.

While I will miss the satisfaction that comes from fostering dogs, I can't imagine a life without my dog, Tripod. To this day, Tripod continues to impress me. Unlike most people, Tripod does not focus on what he doesn't have; instead he makes the best out of what he does have. Tripod has taught me so much about the power of love and determination. He is truly a source of inspiration and courage for all who meet him.
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