One lucky dog from Peace and Paws dog rescue not only received a better life, but also became whole for the first time.
Derby, the lucky dog in question, was born without fully formed front legs. When he moved, he had to scoot around on his nubs and chest, making it difficult to play with another dog or go running.
Lucky as he was, Derby was placed into foster care with Tara Anderson, a woman who just happened to be a director of product management for a company called 3D Systems.
“I had to try and help this dog,” Anderson said after admitting that his story tugged at her heartstrings.
During Derby’s foster care, Anderson brought his situation to her company, and they began to design dog prosthetics for him. As the company was producing the 3D equipment, this lucky dog was able to find a forever home in the form of Sherry and Dom Portanova in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Once adopted, the company was able to produce caps for Derby’s nubs. Hard on the outside and cushioned on the inside, they allowed the lucky dog to have the ability to run on blacktop and concrete.
“He took to those immediately,” Sherry Portanova told ABC News.
The problem with the prosthetics was how to shape them, more than anything else. They tried a straight design first, but were worried that they might allow the dog to get stuck in the dirt. They also had to be sure they didn’t start him off with prosthetics that were too high, since that wasn’t what he was used to and might make him nervous.
The company settled on a round prosthetic, low to the ground, though they intended to raise the height gradually. Finally, the lucky dog was on the right path, and was getting to run and play for the first time.
“The first time he put on them and he took off running he was just so happy. I was absolutely amazed at how, well he did.” Sherry observed.
“He runs with sherry and myself every day. At least two to three miles. He runs faster than both of us. He never really tires out. He’s just so happy to do that,” Dom added.
There’s no question that with some love, care, and an adopted family willing to go above and beyond for him, Derby is one lucky dog.
[ Image courtesy of 3D Systems ]