Three Legged Dog Club
Cassie's Club Members

Hi my name is Michelle, I just love your site. My dog Ginger is 8 years old. I have had her since she was 7 months old. She came from the North Shore Animal Shelter in NY. She just recently became a 3 legged dog and before the surgery I was so upset and worried how she will be afterwards. I had only seen 3 legged dogs on Animal Planet and not many of them. I knew she would be ok with 3 legs but I was still worried until my sister showed me this site and I read about other pet owners and pets who have 3 legs, it gave me a lot of hope that my dog would be ok, Ginger has only had 3 legs for the past 3 months but she is doing wonderful, on 4/29/05 Ginger decided to jump out of my car window while we were going 45 mph (there's a lot of trees around and there are deer, groundhogs and other wildlife around so I assume she saw something and forgot she was in a car) she dislocated her hip and had a severe gash on her lower belly she also had nerve damage in her right front leg, she had surgery on her back leg and the gash was stitched up, the only problem we had was keeping her calm in one room the day she was back she wanted to go back to her normal spot on the stairs landing and watch out the front of the house, however we could not save the leg, we got her leg amputated in may 2005 (she took it a lot better than I did lol) but she has been wonderful I have been astounded at how fast her recovery has been its only been 3 months but she's like her old self again she still loves to chase her toys and follows me around the house, she barks a lot more then she used to but I think she's just trying to prove she's still a good dog, whenever the cold cut drawer is open no matter where she is Ginger comes running she's still the same old loveable Ginger who after all that has happened still loves buh-bye in the car! attached is a picture of my baby ginger who is a German Shepard and Chow mix (she gave the vets a real scare when they saw her tongue and it was black..... before they found out it was the Chow in her).

Michelle Ward
Tuesday September 13, 2005


Thank you for putting Ginger on the site, I can't tell you how much it helped me to see other dogs with 3 legs and that they lead normal healthy lives, the accident was actually life threatening, the gash on her lower belly was really severe. The vet said that she almost hit an artery and she would have bled out right there on the side of the road (after I heard that I had nightmares about the accident but the outcome was always the bad one). You may not know the answer to this but I was wondering if you knew if it's ok for the dogs to go for walks or how long after she loses the leg is it ok to take her for like a walk around the block, my Ginger always loved to go for walks but I'm so afraid that she will tire herself out or fall and get hurt and its only been 3 months since the accident and i am worried about putting a lot of strain on that leg (I know she's a dog but she's like my baby and I'm more protective of her now then ever lol). lol besides playing in the backyard!

Her main exercise is running to the fridge at the sound of the cold cut drawer and giving us her puppy face in hopes of some turkey! haha thanks again for putting her on the site.

Friday September 16, 2005


Our dog Coda's three-legged story started on August 14, 2005. She ran out of an open gate from our yard and, we speculate, chased after a cat from across the street. She was hit by a mini van and thrown onto our front yard. When our neighbor and the man who hit her came to get us, they told us she was dead. My fiance, Jeff, got to her first and looked at me and said my name and I heard in his voice "she's gone." I ran over, sobbing, and yelled her name and then saw her breathe. She did appear dead, tongue hanging out of her mouth, eyes rolled back, bloody and motionless. We loaded her onto a board, shoved her sister, Lily, into her crate and sped off to the vet. After treatment for shock and x-rays at our vet we had to take her to the emergency vet for overnight care. The next morning, not much change in her appearance and not very encouraging prognosis, we were back at our vet. He suggested a CAT scan since the x-rays suggested subluxated vertebrae and her lack of movement, paralysis. So, off we went to the specialist vet, 1 hour away. After CAT scan and some pain meds she ate and was able to get up and move around, with help. Her neck and back were twisted and she had to be supported by a sling to "get busy." Diagnosis included subluxated vertebrae T1&2 in between her shoulders, radial nerve damage that had paralyzed her left front leg and bruising to her heart and lungs. Everything else would heal or be stabilized over time but we were told that amputation, although not recommended right away, would be inevitable without a miracle.

Well, we waited for the miracle and I stretched, massaged and exercised her "bum" leg as Coda healed over the next few weeks. She wanted to be more active than we could let her, the vet had given her 8 weeks of forced calm. Very hard for the hard-core fetch and chipmunk hunting addict!!!! She was getting around really well on 3 legs, the poor 4th one just banged around as she ran, though. She over did it one day and seemed sore so we tried harder to keep her form running and playing with her sister. This did not make her happy. She wanted to be free and independent in her yard!

Coda knew the truth, I guess, that her leg wasn't getting any better. Maybe she thought it was holding her back from tearing around the back yard. Either way, she made the decision for us this past Thursday Sept. 15. When I got home, Coda had started the amputation process herself. We had been told this could happen and it was as upsetting as in my nightmares over the past few weeks.

So, from the prep room of my science classroom on only my second Friday back in school, I okayed the procedure to amputate Coda's left forelimb and agreed to pay the cost (GULP!). We picked her up on Saturday and here I am on Sunday, writing to you as she lies on her comfy foam and comforter bed, sleeping sometimes, crying out, whining, then sleeping, then a tail wag when I tell her "Coda, it's ok." It's that tail wag that keeps me from crying. I know that she'll be ok, though. She already showed us that. She came back from the dead!

I attached a picture of Coda, the thoughtful black one, and her sister Lily, the smiley one, from last Christmastime, their 1st birthday. Coda gets embarrassed so I think she'd rather have her first 3-legged picture be one when she can stand on her own and pose as the super chipmunk hunter (not killer, it's just for the sport!) that she is. I'll send in an update soon.

Thanks for all the other encouraging stories. This site has helped us so much and I hope Coda's story can help someone else through this difficult process.

- Allison Wilshere, Jeff Gargano, Lily and Coda
Sunday September 18, 2005

Update on Coda:

So, it's been 1 1/2 years since Coda's accident and surgery and she is doing so well! She leads a normal dog's life; although she's anything but normal. We like that! She healed beautifully thanks to the incredible vets and techs at Veterinary Specialties in Pattersonville, NY. Her side is completely smooth and she doesn't even have a visible scar. The recovery was very fast after she had her surgery.

The first week while she still had her pain patch on was hard because the medicine made her cry out and she was very disoriented. Once she was able to leave her pen and she was given the "ok to play" by the vet, she recovered in leaps and bounds.

Now she does everything her 4 legged sister can do - even up and down stairs so fast it is scary and she even swam again for the first time last August! Coda has a super fast tripod spin that helps her out-maneuver any dog that's chasing her and she'll superpaw jab you in the throat when you ask for a hug if you're not careful.

She is still the best dog ever and we are so happy we found this site, made the hard decision, spent our savings and still have her to share our lives. On October 28, 2006 both Coda and her sister Lily joined us for our wedding day. After pictures we watched out the windows of the Inn as Coda sprinted with 3 other dogs across the huge field, romping, playing and fetching until her tongue hung low. I thought it then and do everyday; yup, she's so worth it!

Allison and Jeff
Tuesday January 9, 2007

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