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Puppy, born without front legs, gets prosthetics


Liz Braun, Postmedia Network

, Last Updated: 5:51 PM ET

TORONTO – Here’s Cupid, the little furball who could.

Born without front legs and discarded to die in the garbage, Cupid now has a new lease on life thanks to the work done by Janice Olynich at Pawsability.

She has fitted Cupid with prosthetic legs.

To get the dog up and learning, those legs fit into little skis that permit Cupid to scoot forward, getting the puppy accustomed to standing “at height” and using four limbs.

Up until now, Cupid has pushed himself forward on his belly, face down.

Thursday marked Cupid’s first go on its new prosthetic legs, and his progress was unveiled for the media at the Pawsability offices in the Wicksteed Business Park in Leaside.

Puppies learn quickly, Olynich said, and though it’s too soon for Cupid to have a concept of walking, it was able to move forward, at height and independently. Success!

“For now, we’ll work on developing the muscles in his back, belly and shoulders,” she said.

Cupid is a great pyrenees mix, and he’s going to be a big dog. Its stunted forelimbs will grow a little, but just how much is unknown. That will be the challenge in fitting his prosthetic devices.

Rescued from the trash and brought to Joan Znidarec, who runs the volunteer group Dog Rescuers, Cupid immediately won the hearts of all who encountered the pup.

From past experience, Znidarec knew that Pawsability might be the place where Cupid could find help.

Dogs really roll with things,” she said of Cupid’s progress. “They’re far more adaptable than we realize.” Cupid may have been born without front limbs, but he seems to have compensated with heart. The dog has a winning disposition.

And he plays well with others.

“He’s great with other dogs,” Znidarec confirmed.

For now, Cupid is with people dedicated to working with it and helping the pup progress to four-legged mobility. There has been a huge response from people who would foster Cupid and from others who just want to offer encouragement.

Znidarec will be going through applications to find Cupid a “forever” loving home.

“We’re based in Oakville,” she said, “but the response to Cupid has been global.” Like everyone at Dog Rescuers, Znidarec works on a volunteer basis.

“Seeing him go for the ball this morning, in the skis — that’s the reward,” she said.

All of Cupid’s treatment and prosthetics are paid for through donations.

Contributions can be made via the website thedogrescuersinc.ca.

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