Club Tripod, Ctd


More members write in:

We rescued Harry, a harrier hound that closely resembles a beagle, from a road accident when he was one. He stayed with us (and ran “like the wind”) for 15 years. He lacked a right-rear leg but he was the envy of the other male dogs – he could whizz on the fly! Gotta love them tripods!


As the owner of a three-legged kitty, I thought I’d give you a heads up on a term a friend of mine taught me (she had a speedy three-legged dog). It’s “Tripawd” instead of tripod. It’s a little cutesy – but, well, it’s really cute too!


I am totally beside myself to have my favorite blogger now join the three-leg club!  Ruby was found living behind a dumpster with an injured leg back in 2008.  We took her in, hoping to find her owner or a new home. After two surgeries the vet said Ruby would be better off if we just amputated the injured leg. By this time, finding a new owner for her was out of the picture and if I was at all uncertain, seeing her post-surgery in the vet’s office made it clear that I would throw myself in front of a bus for this dog.

It took about a year of very short walks around the block to build up her strength but she was soon running, jumping, chasing, etc. all over the neighborhood.  We moved to Minneapolis several years ago and Ruby and I (well, really just Ruby; I just became the guy with the 3-legged dog) became minor celebrities around the hood.

I can’t tell you how many wonderful experiences this has given me.

Children are totally in awe of Ruby and often run right up to her and crush her with affection.  There was a public housing project down the street that had a number of older guys who had clearly lived hard lives and who hung out on the building’s patio every day.  When we’d walk by they’d call out “Ruby!” and we’d hustle over where they would crowd around her and love on her and I would spend hours chatting and hearing their life stories.  With these guys, it was hard not to notice the quick bond they had with Ruby and equate this with the fact that they had various internal and external wounds of their own.  I got to know all of these people through their interest in Ruby and cherish that I got to interact with people I otherwise wouldn’t have.

Ruby and I recently moved to a new city and I cried my eyes out when leaving because of all the relationships we had to leave behind that we had built up through these chance encounters.  Mostly because they were not people that I will likely keep in touch with or probably ever see again … just neighborhood folks, some quite old and not with much time left, but no less meaningful than lots of other relationships.

But as with anything, the curiosity factor continues here in Portland as people are constantly stopping and asking what happened to Ruby or wondering if they can pet her.  I’ve already met dozens of people whom I’m now friendly with this way. As for your life with a 3-legger, you will soon notice that peoples’ inquiries are so standard it’s comical.  Basically, I can almost guarantee that strangers will come up to you and say one of the following:

1.  “Oh, they do so well, don’t they?”
2.  “It’s like they don’t even know”
3.  “Was she hit by a car?”
4.  (child to parent) “That dog only has one leg!”  – something cognitively deceptive going on with kids

So get used to your stock response to these …


Welcome to the 3-legged dog club!  We got ours a couple summers ago:


She is awesome and her story is pretty incredible. A lot of people came together to rescue her.


When I was growing up, my family inherited Missy, a young yellow pup, from my uncle when we moved into his old house. Missy had lost one of her rear legs due to two separate accidents in the span of a year or so. Aside from the initial recovery, you would have never known that Missy was down a limb, as she was as quick and as active as any four-legged farm dog. Missy’s remaining rear leg grew quite powerful and she learned how to use it well as she was particularly adept at helping us wrangle hogs at full speed. I have vivid memories of watching Missy traverse our farm on her three legs, finding her way across creeks, under fences, generally wherever she needed to be.

While I don’t remember exactly how old she was when she passed, Missy lived a good fifteen years or more after her accident, outliving countless cats and at least one pup who was a good ten years her junior. Best of luck to you and Bowie and may you have many many years with each other.

Another flags an amazing video we’ve posted before:

Three legs? Pshaw, try two:

Another reader:

Yet another niche Dish community!  My dog, Miss Jack, isn’t a tripod, but she is terribly gimpy due to abuse when she was two months old. We were living in Sierra Leone at the time where I was working on a maternal and child health project. After I had taken her into my home and while she was still using only three of her legs, I invited a fellow dog-lover and colleague over to meet her. My colleague took one look Jack, turned to me and said, “Blech! How could you love a dog like that?” Ironic, considering she worked on poverty alleviation in a post-conflict country known for its amputee soccer teams! Needless to say, Jack never seems to notice her limp and attracts far more love on the streets because of it.

Another shifts focus:

I went out with a few friends this past weekend and one of the couples told us about the dog they had just adopted, Flo. When Flo was younger (I think a few weeks old) her owners neglected her, which resulted in her eyes getting extremely infected and eventually removed.  Look at this awesome pup: