What has three legs, can race any human or animal, and melts hearts in half a second? It’s Willow the Wonder Dog! (Her “W” cape is arriving soon.)
The Plott hound/retriever mix inspired everyone around her from the start. She arrived at the Connecticut Humane Society with a paralyzed front leg that dragged along when she moved and was usually covered in sores. But that didn’t stop her from wanting to walk, run and play.
Willow even wore booties and bandages to protect her lame paw, but they were no match for this 2-year-old’s teenage energy and often fell off. No one knew what had caused her paralysis, but this much was clear: the leg would need to be amputated. The procedure would grant her a future free of an unwieldy, troublesome limb. And it was available to her because of donors who are passionate about giving pets bright futures.
CHS’ veterinary team performed Willow’s amputation and set up comfy accommodations for her in the medical ward for close monitoring. The first good sign post-op? She was finishing (no, devouring!) her meals. The next positive sign? Her incision site looked great. And about six days after surgery, Willow once again proved she wouldn’t let obstacles get in her way of being a fun-loving pup. “Happy, ambulating on 3 legs very well,” her medical chart read.
Who needs four limbs? Not Willow! A few weeks into recovery, Willow happily trotted along for a walk outside, even pulling a bit on her leash to go faster! She felt free, like moving was easier now than ever before.
She seemed to be getting the hang of this three-legged thing, but how would she do in a home, where there might be stairs and lots more room to explore? Willow was about to find out. A local couple took her home as a foster-to-adopt pup, ready to help her adjust to her new life as a beloved pet and to keep her safe as she perfected her walk-hop as an amputee.
Willow fit right in to her new household, and now she’s there to stay. She gets around as if she’s only ever known life with three legs and, with the help of her loving parents, has become a proud tripaw.