Hi, My name is Chip, and my best buddy in the world Rusty is a 3-legged dog.
Rusty lost his leg last year after having been hit by a car.
We rushed him to a local vet who said they could not do too much to help him,
so we took the 25- mile drive into Boston with him. The local vet bandaged
him up and put an IV in for the ride. To make a long story short, I thought
he was gone for sure. He was only 3 years old and we loved him very much,
so when they said they could save him and amputate the rest of the leg,
we went for it. I was very surprised how well and how quick he came around,
He was so brave and did so well.
It has been a little over a year now and we are so glad we decided to save him
and keep him for as long as he is happy and can live a pain free and productive life.
Rusty is part shepherd, and he is a cutie (LOL). I don't really know what other mix
he has in him, face looks a little like pit bull, but I'm not sure.
He is the "Bestest boy," That's what we call him. One ear up, One down LOL,
That's the joke around here. I have read a lot of the stories on your page and I am
just learning how common 3-legged dogs are. I wouldn't have him any other way.
I tell him all the time, "You look good Rusty; Dogs don't need 4 legs!" (LOL).
He is a handsome boy and we love him like a son, they are part of your family.
Rusty does do most everything he used to, only less of it. The thing he misses most
is the trampoline. He used to get a run at it and up he went, Now he just can't do it,
he has gained weight, That's my fault but I tend to spoil him, If it starts to
affect him in a negative way I will take some off of him. He gets enough exercise,
just not too much; it makes him sore the next day if he stays out and plays "Puppy"
too long. He is a great couch potato though LOL. He loves TV and his water bowl
with ice (Told 'ya I spoil him) He loves all his brothers and sisters, (Wife and I
have 7 children) and he loves to play ball.
The children were a big part in us deciding on amputation, They didn't
want Rusty to die, And we had a wonderful Lady Dr. Doctor Gannon, I will never forget her,
She fell in love with Rusty and put my mind at ease because I never really knew about
amputee dogs and she said he would do just fine, And he did. He can be aggressive,
He "Guards" Momma when they are alone in the house, and we have to be careful with strangers,
But he will listen and gets used to someone quick. This dog knows he is loved
and shows it back with many, many kisses LOL.
Thank you for the interesting thoughts on this subject, and keep loving those
3-legged dogs LOL.
Just like human amputees, 3-legged dogs experience "Phantom Limb" syndrome.
Rusty still does when he is sleeping; you can see his stump
moving, in his case it's squirrels he is chasing (LOL). When he started running around
again he had a hard time with cornering, He would flip (LOL) and land on his head.
It didn't take long for him to figure it out. We don't put him on the trampoline
anymore, I'm afraid of more injury. I sent you some pics of my very handsome boy.
He is such a loving dog. He went thru a little bit of depression after the surgery.
Dr. Gannon said that was normal for a while.
Rusty was a water addict before the loss of the leg. We will see this year
when we go to the lake if he's still up to it. I'm sure he will still love the water.
In the summer it gets hot here so I fill a kiddie pool for him and he lays in that (LOL),
then he gets his water with ice in his bowl. Most of the time he likes to lay in the
air-conditioned room and sleep. He was a very good swimmer at one time; even in the
river with a little current he was a strong swimmer, never afraid. Now he's gotten a
little older, a little fatter and, I think, a little smarter. We will try the lake
again this summer with him and see how he does.
Chas E. Folland