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Lefty Lucy

Adventures of my 3-legged rescue dog

Meet Lucy

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Hello everyone!

I’d like you all to meet Lucy: my first 3-legged dog (first dog of my own actually)! Lucy is an 11-month old border collie/lab mix and was rescued off a reservation in South Dakota. When they found her, she was dragging her front right leg creating a lot of scrapes and scabs on her paw. After she was brought to Minnesota, Lucy went to the vet to see what could be done about her leg, but they decided that it was best if they amputated it. After her surgery, Lucy went to a foster home through a local rescue shelter and waited for her forever home.

I came across Lucy (Bonnie at the time), in an email that sends me new dogs available for adoption that sort of fit my criteria. For the record, I did not have 3-legged dogs as a part of my criteria, but I’m sure glad she showed up anyway! As soon as I saw a picture of Lucy, I knew she was the dog for me. I went to meet her at a foster meet-and-greet and adopted her the very same day. Since she still had her left leg, I figured Lefty Lucy would be a perfect fit.

Since bringing Lucy home, she has been having a lot of fun playing with my parent’s dogs and becoming house-trained. Coming from a reservation, she is still getting used to living indoors and having toys and real food. She loves loves loves the snow and being outdoors, so we get to play a game where I let her outside to go to the bathroom, and she just lays down and rolls around in the snow. Cute, but not when it’s -5 degrees and I’m in a t-shirt. Her second favorite game is making me chase her around the house when it’s bed time. Lucy hates bed time. But as soon as I manage to get her up to my room, she’s quick to jump on my bed and cuddle until she goes to sleep on her dog bed.

As a new dog mom, I’m learning the ways of puppy training and keeping her as healthy as possible. Having 3 legs hasn’t slowed Lucy down one bit, but I’m sure there’s still a lot for me to learn. If you’ve ever had a 3-legged fur baby I’d love to hear about your experiences and any advice you have!

Until next time,

Karlie & Lucy


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  1. Lucy and Karlie, you are so lucky to have found each other! What a great match. She hit the doggie lotto when she found you.

    Where in Washington are you moving to? We can help you find a rehab clinic. It’s so helpful just to go in for an evaluation. Lucy will have a long life ahead of her on three legs, it’s so important to know the best ways to keep her strong and injury-free. You are definitely on the right track and so conscientious.

    As for raising a 3-legged dog…don’t treat her any different as far as training and obedience goes, but do be aware that her physical needs and limitations are different than a quad-pawd. Does that make sense?

    • karliehauer02

      February 18, 2018 at 10:07 pm

      We will be living in the Seattle area, not exactly sure where just yet. I definitely understand, luckily I’ve grown up with a few dogs so I know some of the ropes of training and obedience. Thanks for your help and advice!

  2. Hi, if you live near the twin cities, I highly suggest you get in touch with Dr. Julia Tomlinson at the Twin Cities Rehab Ctr in Burnsville MN. She is fantastic with rehab issues for dogs. Both my Tripawd and my Flat Coat Ret went to her. They did really well. My flat coat Samba went to her for 5 years till he passed away this weekend at the ripe old age of 15! Koko my tripawd passed away in Nov ’17. Her cancer came back in the spine. We could not do any more for her, but she thrived post amputation and chemo for 11 months. if you have any questions. I suggest using non slip rugs around the house, keeping her weight down, and definitely Julia’s suggestions to keep her remaining leg muscles strong. Having 3 legs takes a toll on the spine over time. Thank you for adopting a tripawd.

    • karliehauer02

      February 13, 2018 at 10:21 pm

      Thanks for the information! Sorry to hear about Samba, I’m sure he had an amazing 15 years thanks to you. I’m near the Twin Cities right now but will be moving out to Washington in the summer, I’ll be sure to research rehab for Lucy out there as well!

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