Sometimes we take the simple blessings of our lives for granted, until stories of men and women who succeed and flourish after loss of limbs (due to injury, illness, or birth) inspire us. It turns out our four-legged friends are no different, whether we’re talking about their creativity or ability to overcome. Discover what these dog lovers already know about their two and three-legged friends below: it turns out that sometimes, less is more.
Even Faith’s mother intended to let this puppy pass away, but Ruben Stringfellow decided to do something different and brought the bipedal puppy home. Not only has Faith learned to walk on her hind legs—something her species wasn’t designed to do—but she’s become an inspiration (and honorary Sargent) to the U.S. Army at Fort Lewis in Seattle, WA.
Taught to walk upright—even run—by her family, with help from doggy housemate Ein, Faith has also appeared on Oprah to wag her inspirational tale. For more of Faith frolicking, check out her trip to the park.
“You don’t have to be 100% complete in order to be perfect.” —Jude Stringfellow
Layka the German Shepherd was hit by bullets in the line of duty. Shot four times at point blank range, the protective pooch still subdued the shooter and saved Staff Sgt. Julian McDonald in the process. Injuries sustained meant the loss of a leg, but she not only survived: she thrived, adopted by the soldier she saved and now an integral part of the family.
Duncan is bipedal, like Faith above, but conversely missing his hind legs. At just two months of age, fused bones mandated the amputation. He’s since received love and training from human helper Amanda, but this puppy continues to do as much as possible on his own!
Before long Duncan was running, turning down the offering of a little wheelchair cart and facing on his first trip to the beach. The wheeled assist is there if he needs it, but his determination and enthusiasm can’t be tied down.
Getting a deadly diagnosis of cancer with only months to live, and the only alternative a risky chemotherapy, would be heart-wrenching for a human to hear. Kurt, however, received this news about his rottweiler Vader during a routine veterinarian visit.
Amputating the right leg was part of the needed treatment, and the big fella survived the limb loss, osteosarcoma and chemo. This dog from Detroit is still living large, and should be inspiring to humans and canines alike who face the rigors of cancer, not to mention those who serve and suffer alongside them like Kurt.
One dog’s plight can inspire innovations that help others. When little Chihuahua Turboroo was born without front legs, Ashley Looper didn’t just take care of her newfound friend: creativity inspired wheeled designs—one after another—until viral videos garnered the attention of an aerospace engineer.
Taking the design to a whole new level, Turbo not only has custom made scooters designed for his motoring (and motivation) but the idea is catching on for more custom-designed animal prostheses.
“I get by with a little help from my friends…” —John Lennon
Born with two legs, this Jack Russell terrier hails from Steamboat Springs and gives no recognition that he’s lacking in any way. Amazing, considering a vet recommended euthanasia because he’d never enjoy his quality of life. Kandu’s never-say-die human companion provides wheels for various occasions and even a mono-ski for snowy days. Kandu visits hospitals frequently to remind people that there is always hope.
From birth to accidents, diseased bodies to battlefronts, these persevering and pioneering pooches (and their human counterparts) should encourage us to think twice about what phrases like “quality of life,” “finding happiness,” and “true love” really mean. If we don’t adopt a furry friend like some of these, we should at least adopt their enthusiasm toward life and the unconditional love they bring to others.