Angel was born on September 13, 2009. The rest of her litter mates were perfectly formed. Angel, though extremely healthy in every other way, only had 3 legs. There was no deformed or injured leg, it just wasn’t there. According to her owners, the Stallards, there was just a skin flap where her left front leg should have been.
“The breeder even researched it, and couldn’t find any instances where the dogs didn’t have to have any surgery to repair anything.” Jack Stallard said as he sat in the yard rubbing Angel’s head. Angel never had to have any kind of surgery. Her front chest looks perfectly fine, except the leg is just not there.
Luckily for Angel, the breeder had planned to keep her, assuming no one would want the 3- legged boxer puppy. This is not the case with some breeders that end up with a pet that is less than perfect. The Stallards saw her and thought she was perfect, and so Angel came to live with them and their Jack Russell Terrier when she was 8 weeks old.
Teaching Angel to Cope with 3 Legs
“We never treated her like she had a problem.” Linda Stallard said. “We didn’t carry her around. We helped her figure out how to do it herself.” They taught Angel to go up and down stairs by supporting her from the rear and encouraging her to try it. Angel soon learned to go up and down the front porch steps all by herself.
They did have to make a few adjustments to help Angel be as independent as Jack, the terrier. They put doggie steps beside the couch so Angel didn’t have to try to jump up on it to lay down with her buddy. If she wanted up, she had to climb.
The Stallards say they think Angel realized she was different than her playmate Jack. “She would look at him real quizzically, like she was trying to figure out why he had that extra leg.” Jack said.
By watching the Jack Russell terrier run and play, Angel learned how to hop and jump to keep up with him.
Watching the 2 dogs run and play in the yard, you would never know that Angel has a disability. You can’t really even call it a disability, because it doesn’t seem to affect Angel at all. She runs and plays as fast and hard as her 4- legged friend.
Disabled Pets Can Adapt
The point is that disabled pets are not throw-aways. Angel is happy and healthy. She doesn’t realize she is “deformed.” If you ever saw this beautiful dog, and watched her running and playing, you would forget that she only has 3 legs. Because of the kindness of a breeder, and the love of the Stallards, Angel has a great life.
With a little help and a lot of love and kindness, a disabled pet can give you as much joy and pleasure as a “normal” pet. Many pets are destroyed because they are not perfect. One look at Angel, and anyone would know how wrong that way of thinking is. Someone will want to love and help that pet, if given the chance. Angel doesn’t know she only has 3 legs and her owners don’t care that she has a leg missing. She is perfect to them.
This article and photo was originally published by this author on Yahoo Voices in 2011 and on Examiner in 2014. Both sites are now shut down but the story of this beautiful dog needs to continue. This author holds the rights to this article and the photo.