Thursday, August 30, 2007

Hope for the Dog

Karen Zatkulak
August 29, 2007 - 12:34PM

A local puppy is preparing for prosthetics. It's never been done before, artificial limbs on not one, but two legs of a nine week old maltese.

Hope barks and looks like most little maltese puppies do.

"Hope is like any normal nine week old puppy, she's playful and lively and plays with the other dogs like she has all of her legs," said Mary Dube, who got Hope.

However, the four legged friend was born with only two.

Dube got Hope through an organization called Southern Comfort Maltese Rescue that welcomes in dogs in need of help.

While Hope has no problem getting around, Dube wants to give her a fair chance to walk around like a dog, instead of hopping like a bunny.

This is the first time prosthetic limbs will be attempted on an animal like this. Hope will come to Dynamic Prosthetic and Orthotic where they'll make a cast of Hope before making her new legs.

Locke Davis will be making the device, that's much different than the human legs he's used to, but hopes it will work.

"Basically it's a mechanism that's gonna have wheels on the bottom, it's more like a rolling wheelchair or something rather than an artificial limb so he can propel it and drive it with his hind feet," Davis said.

Dube said,"It will help her around on a surface in a home or yard as any other normal dog would, she's not going to be able to go up stairs or anything, that haven't made doggy prosthetics that advanced yet."

But advanced enough to give young Hope hope for a somewhat normal, playful doggy life.

Hope will get the fitting for her new legs this Friday.

Afterwards she will have to go through rehabilitation to build up her back legs.

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