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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

Tripawds is the place 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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Tripawd wants to volunteer in Pet Therapy program, faces discrimination
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Forum Posts: 4
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12 June 2021
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6 December 2021 - 8:06 pm
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When I met my border collie Gidge, he was already missing his front right leg.  It was July 2020 and he was the last dog left at the county shelter. The staff knew the amputation was recent, but couldn't tell me much else. 

Our vet suspects he was kicked by a horse; we'll never know for sure, but we do know that whoever performed the amputation did a shoddy job and left extra bone behind that Gidge will carry for the rest of his life.

The vet said if he had to guess, Gidge's previous owners had opted for the cheapest option to keep him alive and then dumped him at the shelter. What good to them was a ranch dog with three legs?

He's in advanced agility classes now. I've never had a more active dog than my tripawd. He fords rivers, climbs trees, and runs circles around his four legged friends at the park.  He even caught a squirrel! 

We hike together, backpack together, raft rivers together. He gives hope to those facing amputation that life will be great afterwards. For all his running around, he's also, for the most part, impeccably behaved.

He got his Canine Good Citizen shortly after I adopted him and he's my workplace's official Office Dog. He has a way with children, and we've been asked to volunteer as a therapy dog and handler team by nursing staff at two hospitals and by other connections at a school and a daycare.  

There's only one national organization that will register or certify therapy dogs where we live (no local options), and my question has to do with that. We've done all the training and all the paperwork, paid all the fees, and are set to be evaluated this week, a test which we'll easily pass as it's easier than the Canine Good Citizen, we're well prepared for it, and I volunteered for years with my last dog in this capacity.

However, I'm uneasy about some tripawd discrimination we're experiencing. Our vet has written that Gidge needs a disability accommodation, and I've submitted that request according to this organization's paperwork process.

Gidge needs to be allowed to wear booties on slick flooring. Nothing fancy, just the same type that tripawds.com recommends. 

The organization denied this accommodation, saying that he cannot wear booties only on slick flooring, but must either wear booties constantly or never at all!

This is problematic as booties are a necessity on slick hospital flooring, but are unnecessary on non-slick flooring, and can actually be a hindrance to good body mechanics and movement on the carpeting in daycares and schools.

The organization says they won't go through with the evaluation unless I say that I'll make Gidge wear booties all the time.

Since there aren't other options, and this organization is unwilling to meet our vet's request for an accommodation as that request was written, I'm planning to lie and say, "Sure, he'll wear booties 24/7" and then not actually have him wear them when they're not needed to volunteer.

I'm a bit uneasy about planning to lie, so I'm wondering if you know of any precedents or resources that could help me convince this organization that what they're asking is unreasonable, and that my Gidge should be allowed to wear booties on slick floors and no booties on non-slick flooring.

I'm sure I'm not the only one experiencing this - for lack of a better word - tripawd discrimination, and I'm hoping that with this community's help, I can pressure the evaluating organization to change their rigid policy to be more inclusive.

It might be worth noting that this organization, Pet Partners, claims in their marketing and training materials to be inclusive of tripawds and other types of differently-abled dogs and cats. Yet I find myself needing to advocate for my dog in my communications with them, and failing to get them to accept the accommodation that his vet agrees he needs.

Conversely, the organizations that we do far more rigorous activity through, such as Nosework classes, Advanced Agility, and Canine Good Citizen, never had any issues with meeting any accommodations so that we could participate. Notably, those organizations were all local, and our problems are with a national organization.

Any advice would be most welcome!

The Rainbow Bridge



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6 December 2021 - 8:35 pm
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Hi Gidge and Katie, so glad you decided to post here! 

I'm on my phone now but wanted to get your post approved so others can see it. I'll be back tomorrow with some thoughts.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Virginia




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6 December 2021 - 8:56 pm
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Absolutely  in awe of what you and upir sweet pup have accomplished  together!  

I see Jerry is on here now, so I'm sure you are about to get great advice. In the meantime time, check out Dr Busby's Toe Grippers.

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

Virginia




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6 December 2021 - 9:04 pm
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Nope, Jerry just signed off.  Im sure she and others will jave aome suggestions 

So go to our Gear link and see of the Dr. Buzby's Toe Grippers toe grippers could be doable.  They actually  may be better than booties anyway as they do stay on for quite awhile (I think a couple weeks at a time and then some).

You have done a beautiful  job of helping Gidge be the gest Gidge she can be.  The adventures  you two are sharing, along with all of her doggy accomplishments...awe inspiring.

Hugs

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

The Rainbow Bridge



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7 December 2021 - 8:35 am
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OK I'm back! 

I'm with Sally: Dr. Buzby's are awesome and can be left on long-term, until nail trims are needed.

For the organization to say "must either wear booties constantly or never at all!" is really, really odd. If a dog wore booties on all the time they would develop horrendous foot odors, bacteria, and infections. Are you sure that's what the organizations rules say? I would double-check and call to speak with someone. It is not in any dog's best interest to wear booties 24/7.

Conversely, the organizations that we do far more rigorous activity through, such as Nosework classes, Advanced Agility, and Canine Good Citizen, never had any issues with meeting any accommodations so that we could participate. 

Yeah, that's super cool. Not all are as accommodating. Our friend Carolyn Baynes and her dog Ari are up against the AKC's rules right now. She's a determined advocate and I've pointed her here to your post so I'm sure she will chime in soon. Check out:

https://tripawd.....obedience/

What organization are you working with for his nosework and agility? You also need to check out:

https://threequ.....pawds.com/

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Forum Posts: 4
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7 December 2021 - 7:01 pm
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Thanks for the suggestion!  Those Toe Grippers look like a neat solution.

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7 December 2021 - 7:28 pm
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The evaluating organization wants him to wear booties all the time when we're volunteering; apologies that wasn't clear.  The places we've been asked to volunteer are pretty evenly split between having slick and non-slick flooring, so it would mean wearing booties that inhibit proper body mechanics half the time.  

There doesn't seem to be a real purpose behind this policy.  I went as high as I could get, and the best answer I got was that they want pets to be evaluated in what they'll wear to go volunteer because of 'liability'.  Yet they allow dogs to wear accessories like bandanas while volunteering despite not having worn a banana during the evaluation, and they don't make the dogs wear those bandanas every time they volunteer.

The organization insists Gidge must wear the same things (collar, leash, booties) when volunteering that he wears while being evaluated, so we've offered to go through their evaluation twice - once with booties, once without - to demonstrate that he can pass the evaluation both ways, thus overcoming any concern related to liability. They rejected that suggestion outright.

I would understand if there was a risk involved in not wearing booties when the flooring doesn't demand booties for traction , but of course, there's no such risk; the only risk is being forced to choose between wearing booties all the time or not at all, rather than simply wearing them when appropriate.

It's astonishing to me that an organization called Pet Partners insists so strongly on something that is not in the dog's best interest, is against veterinary advice, and is more likely to lead to a liability issue should we choose to follow their rule and have Gidge wear booties when they serve no purpose and inhibit proper body mechanics.

Sorry, I get heated just thinking about it!

The Rainbow Bridge



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7 December 2021 - 9:12 pm
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You know the interesting thing is that dog booties actually inhibit dogs from feeling the ground and knowing exactly where they feet are ("proprioception "). This is not good. Plus, most dogs reject booties and many just won't tolerate them. I wonder if a letter from a boarded orthopedic or rehab vet would help?

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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7 December 2021 - 10:30 pm
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We're working with a local training facility called Sit Happens for the Nosework and Agility classes, and worked with a local org called Wind River Canine Partners for the CGC.  Would recommend both places.

We're not looking to compete, but we've been invited to Agility Fun Days several times now where you pay a fee and play around and practice in an arena outside of town.  My town doesn't have much going for it in terms of competitions held here.

The Rainbow Bridge



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8 December 2021 - 10:49 am
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Gidge leads quite the busy life! Sounds like a lot of fun to spend time together on these activities. 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Virginia




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8 December 2021 - 7:24 pm
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Would love to see some videos os uour sweet pup.  Clearlymyou two jave a very deep and loving bond♥️

"Sit Happens" Lpve it!

😂😂

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

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