February 25, 2011
The Story of a Disabled Hunting Dog
By Chad Love
Sometimes you stumble across something that is, well, simply amazing. Such was the case as I was perusing the forums last night on the RetrieverTraining.net website and came across this thread about a lab named Dex and his owner, Curtiss Lindsay.
Back in February of last year, Curtiss writes, his lab had a litter of nine healthy pups. So far, so good. But a week later they noticed one pup not using its back legs. Several vet visits later, they were told the pup was paralyzed and given the option of either euthanizing the little guy or raising him. The pup came home. But several weeks later little Dex, as he came to be known, got sick, very sick. As it turns out, Dex hadn't been born paralyzed. Shortly after birth his mother had apparently stepped on Dex, dislocating his rear hips, breaking both legs and cutting off the flow of blood. If they wanted to keep Dex, both legs would have to be amputated.
From Curtiss' thread on the rtn.net forum:
My wife and I told the vet to do whatever it took to save him. Dex pulled through both amputations beautifully. However, what does one do with a two-legged lab? The amputations were too high up to fit him with a prosthesis. Labs are active and to limit his mobility to two legs was cause for concern. Perhaps this is where I should talk about Dex’s fighter spirit and his larger than life drive. He is by far the happiest dog I’ve ever met, and he was retrieving even when he was dragging two useless legs behind him. He doesn’t realize that he is different, and he has the playful nature of any lab puppy. He has never had a day of depression or hesitation throughout the pain and hardships that he has experienced. He is truly an inspiration. After much research, we located Walkin’ Wheels, a company that manufactures wheelchairs for dogs. We purchased one, and it has changed all of our lives forever. This chair has given Dex his life back by giving him the gift of mobility. He can keep up with other dogs just fine, and he loves to go on long walks with us. He is a messy swimmer, but a swimmer nonetheless. He even enjoys chasing his Maltese sister around the island in the kitchen! Dex has changed our lives for the better. He has taught us to never give up. He knows no limitations. He adjusts to whatever life throws at him. I hope you have enjoyed his story, and I hope you think about him the next time you have a bad day.
That's a great story about a courageous dog and an extraordinary owner. But wait, it gets better. Because Dex the two-legged lab, has just earned his HRC "started" title. This dog will hunt.
There are videos for both his land and water series. Watch them, and if you can manage to make it through without getting at least a little teary-eyed, then you, sir, have a heart of the blackest chert. Seek public office immediately.