Three Legged Dog Club
Cassie's Club Members

This is my dog Hayley. It's been one year since her accident. She took off for two days. We searched and searched. I wept as I walked through the woods calling her name. I thought she was gone. I thought she ran away or maybe found by another loving family. One night she came back! I was so happy and surprised! Until I noticed her wounds. I first noticed her tail was gone. I looked closer and her leg was gone too! I tied her stumps and took her to a vet. I thought she was a goner. It took another 14 hours of suffering in pain until she went under for orthopedic surgery. I came to get her the next day. The first family member she saw was my brother. She hopped right up to him and peed all over his feet. So happy and hoppy, wet with pee. I melted when I saw her. She had really no recovery time. As soon as she came home she was leaping off the porch chasing rabbits, cone and all. She's a miracle. Nobody really knows what happened. We live near train tracks, and there's a garbage facility nearby. Only Hayley knows; good luck trying to get it out of her! To this day we can't slow her down. She's so happy all the time. She loves strangers and people outside in the neighbourhood. It's strange because people I've never met before seem to know how friendly she is.

Sunday August 21, 2005


Hello Cynthia and Kurt,

My name is Misha and I'm a Sheba-Inu. Try saying that fast 10 times. My owners can't either. Dogs like me are very fast, strong, and like to chase things.

In my case, I just like to run and sometimes don't look where I'm going. Unfortunately, the driver wasn't looking where he was going either. Not only did I get hit, but the car sped off leaving me hurt and dying on the road. A stranger found me, took me to a kind veterinarian who treated me but I was really badly hurt with all sorts of life-threatening injuries. They transferred me to a hospital which kept me alive until my owners could be found. By then I was really in bad shape. I'm lucky to be alive because my owners loved me and did everything they could to make me better. The doctors deserve lots of credit for not giving up too.

In the end, all the other things got better. The only thing that never healed was my right-front leg. The nerves were permanently damaged (brachial plexus avulsion leading to denervated muscle) and 8 months after the accident the leg was amputated. To be honest, it was getting in the way anyway. Now I can run almost as fast as before the accident. Boy-oh-boy, my single front leg is really strong and muscular. I run so fast, people think I have four legs.

Life is good. My owners take me for walks and make sure I stay exercised. I live with a Willy-Mae, a mix breed dog born in Okinawa and T.C. the cat. T.C keeps searching house for my missing leg but I'm not going to tell her to stop. Makes me laugh.

My owners found Cassie's Club and it helped us all prepare for the surgery and what to expect afterward. All the positive stories were a big help. I hope my story helps someone else.

Rhode Island

Saturday August 27, 2005

FIRST, let me again say thanks for the site. Misha was injured in November 2005 and the first thing I did was go searching for "three-legged dogs" with Google. Luckily, I found your site and printed all the advice and expectations. It made a BIG difference in how we dealt with Misha. What would life be like? What sort of care would she need? Etc.

NEXT, I found all the stories and advice exactly what the Dr's were saying. Quality of life is unaffected. That was the most important piece of advice your site offered. The money to save Misha was not the issue. It was all about her quality of life afterward. That's where your site was invaluable.

We still live on the same street and I wonder about who was so insensitive to leave her. It was right after the first snow and she was found on top of a snow bank. I suspect she crawled up there. She had serious brain swelling and wasn't expected to recover, but she persisted. In the end, it wasn't US who kept up the struggle. Misha fought through all the healing processes. We keep saying she DESERVES a second chance for how tenaciously she hung onto life.

Her leg was actually fine. No broken bones. No crushed muscles. Blood flow OK. But it was paralyzed. Her foot got caught under the tire and her shoulder was hyperextended tearing the nerve bundle at the spine. In rare instances, the nerves can recover so they recommend leaving the leg to see if it regains feeling. In the end, her leg just atrophied so we had it taken off. By then, her other leg was super strong so the transition to true tripod was easy. She's 4 years old now and she'll live a normal life very well.

I really wanted to share the story and some of the medical terms for others to find. This is a very common injury and often the cause of lost limbs in dogs.

FUNNY STORY: in the morning she'll jump onto the bed and jab the one super-paw right into my chest to wake me up. I call it the "paw of death" and sometime fake like she's stabbed me.

I am in the Navy and we lived in Okinawa for three years. We went there without a pet, and adopted Willy-Mae as a pup. Simply couldn't leave her behind. She really missed Misha for the time she was in the hospital.

Keep the site going. You never know how many lives you touch. Feel free to cut and paste from this note to make a story.

Jeff & Gezelle Norwitz
Rhode Island
Saturday August 27, 2005

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