Hopping Biped Puppy Bounces Through Life
When Hope becomes Art, All Things are Possible (ZT Pet News Photo by Kris O'Donnell)
Hopping Biped Puppy Bounces Through Life: After being abandoned along a Florida highway with his litter-mates, Hope is a 2-month-old puppy with a zest for life, despite only having two legs. Now this biped puppy searches for a new home and a chance to continue on with life "as normal."
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Whether he's resting inside in his pen or wrestling with his sister, 2-month-old Hope always appears to be a happy, healthy puppy. He also seems completely unaware of the fact that he was born with only two legs.
"All the sudden it came to our realization like, 'Oh my goodness, this one doesn't have any legs,' " said Judy Sarullo, of Pet Rescue By Judy.
Sarullo says Hope and his eight siblings were found on the side of an Orlando highway and brought to her nonprofit shelter. They were just two or three days old and had to be nursed around the clock.
Many other shelters may not have had the time or the money required to care for a two-legged dog, and at alternative establishments, Hope might have been put down. But at Pet Rescue by Judy, that was never an option.
"We never thought about it," said Hope's foster mom, Judy Walker.
"This is one wonderful dog," Walker said. "He has a great disposition. He's mellow, he's patient, he's loving."
Walker also cares for Hope's four-legged sister, Noel, and says he can do everything she does, just a little differently.
"You don't tell anyone who's handicapped, 'You can never do that,' " Walker explained. "It's just you have to do it a different way but you can do it."
But no one's sure, yet, how Hope will ultimately get around. Cheryl Tano, DVM, is a veterinary orthopedic surgeon with Affiliated Veterinary Specialists in Maitland, Fla.
She watched a video of Hope and says the extent of the mobility he displays is remarkable. But ultimately, Tano says that allowing him to function only with his two legs may not be the best option.
"In a cart or wheelchair he will be in a more quadruped position, so in the grand scheme of things that would be better bio-mechanically for him than being a biped," Tano remarked.
But there are also exciting new breakthroughs on the horizon in the field of animal prosthetics.
"Probably the most innovative is where they're implanting little posts into the bone, which will get bony in growth and you can attach a prosthetic limb to that," Tano said.
Hope needs to be full grown before he can be fitted with a wheelchair or prosthetic limbs, so he still has a long way to go.
But whatever the outcome, Hope's caregivers say his future will be bright.
"We're going to need some additional help and guidance and advice but the dog is going to get whatever the dog needs," Sarullo said.
"He's going to have a good life," Judy Walker echoed. "He's going to have a good home, we're going to make sure of that. There's somebody out there for him."
The shelter says Hope will remain with his foster mom until the right home can be found.
For more information, visit PetRescueByJudy.com.
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