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The Story of a Disabled Hunting Dog

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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.

 

Comments (12)

Top Rated
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from Moose1980 wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

Simply awesome!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from DSMbirddog wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

That dogs got a lot of heart and I commend his owners for letting him do what he is meant for.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

get ready for the negatives, but i don't think they know what they put that dog through or they are just looking for some publicity at his expense? sucks, this isn't a circus.

-6 Good Comment? | | Report
from db270 wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

The boy looks like he's enjoying himself to me! That takes some heart on part of the owner and dog. I'm all for it!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from J4huntfish wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

agreed jamessti, this is cool how hes liking but they should have just put him down.

-4 Good Comment? | | Report
from marceaton wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

what do you mean "what they put that dog through"? They gave him a chance, I think we can all learn a thing or two from the dog as well as the owners. I work as a vet tech and have seen many dogs, that some people like jamesti and j4huntfish would have givin up on, come out of major surgeries with miraculous results and a very improved quality of life.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

i never said anything about giving up on him but i din't see this as the venue for him, so think about things you read before handing out negatives!

-5 Good Comment? | | Report
from wisc14 wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

j4huntfish: so if you have a accident and lose both legs i guess we should just put you down then. i hope you re- read what you posted and realize how stupied you sound

give me a break. the dog is enjoying life. if the dog had the choice i'm sure it would choose this over immediate death. these people obviously have time and resources to let the dog suceed. those wheelchairs are recommended by many vetrinarians for dogs like these. no need to simply put it down

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

We feel these youngsters are "inspirational" when in fact, this is life for them. I raised, and lost, a son with autism. A fine kid. He didn't think he was anything special. He was kind, loving, very well-mannered, never swore, and couldn't tell a lie. He also couldn't do math and could barely write when he died at age 14. We think he was special but he didn't think so. Dex is the same way. He does what God made him for. No one has told him he's different and to him he's not because it's all he's ever known. We're the ones who are handicapped.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hil wrote 3 years 7 weeks ago

wisc14: I get what you're saying and where you're coming from, but please remember that j4huntfish is a person and Dex is a dog, and the two are not to be compared. Putting down one is worlds away from putting down the other. The comparison of "well you wouldn't do that to a person, would you?" is the oldest trick in the anti-hunter's book and it doesn't hold water.

I would not have invested the money that it probably took to get this dog to this point, but kudos to those who would.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Trophy Wife wrote 3 years 7 weeks ago

They need to find a new vet. Any vet worth their salt would have x-rayed a dog without use of it's back legs, especially a puppy thought to be paralyzed! What a cool little dog though, with ALOT of heart! Glad he made it through.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from cwswenson01 wrote 3 years 7 weeks ago

Labs, especially those who hunt, are a breed above! In general they have more heart and drive than other breeds and those hunters who own and work with these dogs know that. A healthy lab would prefer to hunt until the day they die than lay around the house. Being disabled is not different. I have heard of many labs with amputations that hunt as well or better than those with 4 legs. Our 3 year old was diagnosed with hip displaysia at 11 months and our choice was surgery or put her down. She had too much spunk and heart to put her down. After surgery and several months of recovery (none of which she took lying down) she is a pain free dog who is willing to go all day and swims faster than most dogs with good hips. Loyalty, my friends, goes both ways. Sometimes you just have to have faith and know your canine companion. (And I know all about the put them down theory - I grew up in the country!)

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from Ontario Honker ... wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

We feel these youngsters are "inspirational" when in fact, this is life for them. I raised, and lost, a son with autism. A fine kid. He didn't think he was anything special. He was kind, loving, very well-mannered, never swore, and couldn't tell a lie. He also couldn't do math and could barely write when he died at age 14. We think he was special but he didn't think so. Dex is the same way. He does what God made him for. No one has told him he's different and to him he's not because it's all he's ever known. We're the ones who are handicapped.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Moose1980 wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

Simply awesome!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from db270 wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

The boy looks like he's enjoying himself to me! That takes some heart on part of the owner and dog. I'm all for it!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from marceaton wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

what do you mean "what they put that dog through"? They gave him a chance, I think we can all learn a thing or two from the dog as well as the owners. I work as a vet tech and have seen many dogs, that some people like jamesti and j4huntfish would have givin up on, come out of major surgeries with miraculous results and a very improved quality of life.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from DSMbirddog wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

That dogs got a lot of heart and I commend his owners for letting him do what he is meant for.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from wisc14 wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

j4huntfish: so if you have a accident and lose both legs i guess we should just put you down then. i hope you re- read what you posted and realize how stupied you sound

give me a break. the dog is enjoying life. if the dog had the choice i'm sure it would choose this over immediate death. these people obviously have time and resources to let the dog suceed. those wheelchairs are recommended by many vetrinarians for dogs like these. no need to simply put it down

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hil wrote 3 years 7 weeks ago

wisc14: I get what you're saying and where you're coming from, but please remember that j4huntfish is a person and Dex is a dog, and the two are not to be compared. Putting down one is worlds away from putting down the other. The comparison of "well you wouldn't do that to a person, would you?" is the oldest trick in the anti-hunter's book and it doesn't hold water.

I would not have invested the money that it probably took to get this dog to this point, but kudos to those who would.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Trophy Wife wrote 3 years 7 weeks ago

They need to find a new vet. Any vet worth their salt would have x-rayed a dog without use of it's back legs, especially a puppy thought to be paralyzed! What a cool little dog though, with ALOT of heart! Glad he made it through.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from cwswenson01 wrote 3 years 7 weeks ago

Labs, especially those who hunt, are a breed above! In general they have more heart and drive than other breeds and those hunters who own and work with these dogs know that. A healthy lab would prefer to hunt until the day they die than lay around the house. Being disabled is not different. I have heard of many labs with amputations that hunt as well or better than those with 4 legs. Our 3 year old was diagnosed with hip displaysia at 11 months and our choice was surgery or put her down. She had too much spunk and heart to put her down. After surgery and several months of recovery (none of which she took lying down) she is a pain free dog who is willing to go all day and swims faster than most dogs with good hips. Loyalty, my friends, goes both ways. Sometimes you just have to have faith and know your canine companion. (And I know all about the put them down theory - I grew up in the country!)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from J4huntfish wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

agreed jamessti, this is cool how hes liking but they should have just put him down.

-4 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

i never said anything about giving up on him but i din't see this as the venue for him, so think about things you read before handing out negatives!

-5 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

get ready for the negatives, but i don't think they know what they put that dog through or they are just looking for some publicity at his expense? sucks, this isn't a circus.

-6 Good Comment? | | Report

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