I had a 2-legged dog as well
Our dog Niña was born in Ecuador, januari 1993 at a farm in the province of Sucumbios.
She was born with two heavily deformed hind legs: both missed the shin-bone, and as a result the fibulas had the shape of a C. One knee-cap was also missing, the other completely misplaced. The hind legs were twisted to the outside and limb from where the knees should have been. There were some abnormalities in her spine as well.
Of course we didn’t know of all these details when we first met her while on a course at an agro-forestry project.
All we saw was a little boy, about 2 years of age, dragging along a little puppy by a front paw as if she were a teddy bear. The puppy was squealing, but nobody seemed to be bothered by it. Her hind legs looked as if they had been broken, but the owner assured us the pup was born like that
As we were there as students, working on a project, and would leave in about 3 to 4 months, we hesitated on what we should do, but in the end we bought her from the parents and took her in.
We wanted her to experience a better life and some love and proper attention, even if this would mean that we would have to let her be euthanised.
We went to see a nurse in the welfare center (there not being any vet) to get her opinion on the hind legs (the puppy did not seem to be in any pain once the boy had let her go), and she agreed the legs were deformed due to a congenital defect.
So we set out for Quito and went to see a vet (an 8 hour drive in the back of a lorry) to get her shots and ask his opinion on her chances of survival, and the ministry to find out whether we could take her back to the Netherlands (Holland) with us.
We managed to get everything arranged and in July we took her home with us.
In the Netherlands we visited the Vettinary University to see whether she could be helped with prostheses or a wheelchair, which were a novelty at the time.
Then the deformities of the spine were discovered, and the professors told us they could try and operate, but the risks of her not being able to walk at all after surgery were quire high, while the chances of success were very slim.
Since Niña did quite well on her own (when she ran I couldn’t keep up with her), we decided against surgery.
We did try to get her into one of those wheelchairs, but she lifted it in the air when walking, so it was a burden instead of a help. Eventually we decided (and the vet agreed) we did not want to make her dependent on something she obviously did not need. She could balance on her front legs perfectly well and her whole body adapted to it.
When Niña got older we made a backpack so we could carry her whenever we went for a walk that was to far for her (in forested areas the walk never seemed to be too far, so it was largely used in urban situations).
It was very obvious Niña did not like people at all, which did not surprise us at all giving her background of being kicked around as a puppy.
In all about 20-30 people succeeded in winning her trust (and were all very proud of achieving it), and to those people she was the best dog in the world.
Now I think maybe we could have helped her with the aid of a behavior expert, but since we never knew they existed we never tried. That’s the one thing I regret about having Niña.
In May 2006, Niña was 13 years of age, the strain on the front legs and back finally became to much. She developed arthritis and sphondylosis and her body balance faltered more and more often and she would fall over. It became hard to walk and the vet and we decided it had been enough. The hardest decision of my life, since she hadn’t been ill or anything and, with the aid of painkillers, she hadn’t been in pain either. But she did not seem to have much joy in life anymore either.
We did not want her to end her life totally dependent and drew the line. The vet put her to sleep and she died in our arms.
I am from Canada and was so touched when I seen Faith on TV, had to buy then book. She gives courage and strenght to others, that you can do anything even what happened to her.
Got the book and Love it.
Thanks Heather In Canada
aw that's a very touching and sad story. it saddens me to see dogs like these.
but amidst their disabilities, they are still wonderful dogs and companions.
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What a bueatiful girl! What a blessing that you could see her bueaty and not her "imperfection"-which I believe in the end is what makes things bueatiful.