Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat
Tripawds is your home to learn how to care for a three legged dog or cat, with answers about dog leg amputation, and cat amputation recovery from many years of member experiences.
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This is a story about my lovely tripawd Frikk.
Frikk is a lovely brown doberman pinscher who is currently 1,5 years old.
He have a serious and responsible breeder and is from good lines, but was born with a severly deformed leg. His owner/breeder called the breeder of his father to know if anything similar had happened in their lines before- the answer was yes. She was told to just "hit him to death" so he wouldn't be registered as alive in the kennel club. The father is a very attractive stud male here so they wanted to keep his reputation clean. The owner refused, and did everything she could to give him a great life. Since his leg was so deformed, he was never been able to walk on four legs. His leg got hooked in things and it kinda bothered him, so amputation was the only good option for him. He got his right front leg amputated at 4 months old, the whole leg and shoulder. He was also neutered. After what we heard, he recovered really well. His owner/breeder is a quite active lady with several doberman pinschers which she competes with etc in different dog sports. She often felt bad that she wasn't able to give a young doberman pinscher what he needed and started looking at rehoming him- and that is the start of my story with him.
I used to work at a shelter before i started working at an animal hospital. My mother works at a shelter and they got a mail with Frikks information and if they could help rehome him. A few days later, I met with his owner and Frikk, who had recently turned 1, and I fell in love with him. I was just supposed to have him in foster care, but i wasn't able to give him away. I have a pack with huskies, griffons and a german shorthaired pointer, so we have a few dogs here, and some with special needs, but having a tripawd was new for me. He fitted into the pack perfectly well and quickly pointed out our gsw as his best friend. We was suprised on how well he worked with three legs. He was running, playing, jumping, digging holes etc. He has also recently pulled us on ski with another husky (and he loved it). The hardest part was finding a harness that suited him well. He is a deep chested dog and we felt that every harnes just slided from one side to another. I took us quite some time to find a few that fits him well. He is a well behaved dog with a lovely temperament and have learned many people that not every doberman is as scary as they might think. We also have frequently contact with his breeder.
Having a three legged dog is quite unusual here and many people is reacting. Many of them is asking out of curiousity, wondering what happened, how his life as a tripawd is etc. He is happily jumping around on three legs, giving out kisses and enjoying cuddles while I tell his story. I don't mind people asking- i get that people can be curious about it. But some people can't help coming with rude comments, calling us animal abusers etc. He recently joined an event and we had to bring a health certificate that prove that his three legged life isn't bothered him. Another thing that is bothering me is that three legged dogs are considered "sick or unhealthy induvidual" and therefore are forbidden in competing (in obidience, agility, nosework etc).
It is nice having a community with other tripawds with other people understanding and not judging you. He is so happy and so full of life so i can't even imagine him not being "worthy of life"
Oh my gosh what a story! Thank you so much for being a good human and having a big, big heart. It makes me so to think that anyone would say something like that when a dog is born with limb difference. He is so fortunate to have found you as a parent! Yes, we totally understand what it's like to know what three legged dogs are really capable of. Thank you for helping to educate the public, and joining us here. We are looking forward to following along with your adventures.
What activity did he join where he needed that kind of paperwork?
If you're interested in obedience and agility sports, you might want to check out this post:
Sign Petition to Allow Tripawds in AKC Rally and Obedience Competition
He was a finalist in a photo contest. We thought it would just be online, but it turned out that all the finalists had to come to a big event we had here. It was an event with dog shows, competitions in several dog sports etc. We wasn't forced or told to bring the health certificate, but others reccomended us that since so many people can react on tripwads here. Better safe than sorry. He is healthy and fine and we got nothing to hide. We didn't have to use it or show it to anyone, but it was a weird feeling. He didn't win the prize, but we were so proud of him