Hello everyone! My name is Sara and my dog's name is Hooker.
Hooker is a three-legged dog. However, she is unlike most of you here
who have had a leg amputated. She was actually born with her fourth leg,
however it was severely deformed and she is unable to use it.
I took one look at Hooker at a local Humane Society and fell in love with her
awesome personality. One look and I was hooked, literally!
She is always in a great mood except for the times that she gets scared
of the vacuum! She LOVES to run and you would never know she had three legs.
I think it is so great that all of you have the love to spread to dogs like Hooker
with only three legs. It's not the outside that matters, but the inside
that really counts. Hooker is my best friend and I know much of you
feel the same about your three-legged friends!
On a side note, Hooker's deformity, from what I understand, is caused by
malnutrition in her mom's womb. If any of you know anything about this subject
please let me know. I am going to vet school and plan on doing some research
on this topic.
Here's my beautiful girl, Danaher (Dani for short)
wearing her Therapy Dog vest. I got Dani in March, 2003,
from the Rolling Dog Ranch Animal Sanctuary in Ovando, MT,
not far from where I live. The sanctuary is an incredible place
founded and run by a terrific couple who take in animals who are
blind, deaf, old, maimed, or otherwise "rejected" and give them
a wonderful home. I saw Dani on their website just a few months after
my beloved dog, Maddie, had died. Dani had been listed as a give away
in a local newspaper. Steve and Alayne (the great couple I mention above)
spotted the ad and wondered what kind of chance a 3-legged dog
would have to be adopted into a loving home so they took her in
and I am so grateful to them. (Coincidentally, her name was Cassie, too,
but that sounded too much like Jesse, my other dog, so I changed it.)
She had been hit by a car, which resulted in the amputation
and had not been spayed so had also had a litter of puppies (8 of them!)
on three legs before Steve and Alayne scooped her out of the
situation she was in. She is an absolute gem.
She also pretty much gets whatever she wants because she is so gently
persuasive, it is impossible to deny her much (my mother calls her
The Velvet Bulldozer). She has seizures, possibly a result of the trauma
of being hit by the car but they are not frequent or severe enough
to warrant medication at this point.
Dani is a certified Therapy Dog--I take her to local nursing homes,
where several of the residents are also amputees or have mobility problems.
They share a special connection and it is a privilege for me to be a
part of it and to share my life with her.
We figure Dani is about 3 or 4 years old--not entirely sure.
I am very grateful for that information about avoiding hard surfaces
because I have been trying to focus on getting her to lose some weight
(she's a little heavier now than she was when the photo was taken.
Not obese, but heavier than she should be). She's been on "light" food
for several months but I'm not sure how much to exercise her
because she does get tired so quickly and I don't want her to stress her joints.
And it doesn't help her weight situation that she and my other dog
have managed to steal a couple loaves of bread from a pretty high counter
when I've been at work! That's a great suggestion to keep her on grass.
I live right across the street from the Capitol building
and there's plenty of grass on the grounds. I don't think she had
ever been exposed to swimming or even wading in water before I got her
because she was hesitant about even getting her feet wet the first time I
took her to a lake. She's better now but still doesn't want to get in very
deep, even if I am out there calling her.
Do you have any information on dietary supplements that might be good to
give her added joint protection while she's still young?
Yes, it is disgusting that people think 3-legged dogs are not worthy
somehow. Some people are surprised that I would have adopted her AFTER she
lost her leg--like it must be some sort of hardship for me or something.
is the website
for the sanctuary where I got her - I volunteer there on occasion, too.
They almost always have 2 or 3 3-leggers in residence.
Dani hadn't really had much training when I got her. I don't think she had
been abused necessarily, but the person she was with before she ended up at
Rolling Dog sounds like she was irresponsible and kind of neglectful. I took
her through a beginning obedience class and the instructor encouraged me to
get her started in Therapy Dog work because of her sweet, calm disposition.
She had to pass a test and be observed in action to become certified--it's
mostly basic commands and ensuring that she is ok being in close proximity
with other dogs and with people who may unintentionally be sort of grabby.
She also has to be ok with loud noises (alarms, mostly). We were in the May
edition of Dog Fancy magazine, too, because of her Therapy stuff. It was
pretty cool. I just love her to bits!
Thanks for letting me share her with you!