Roo, the Amazing Three-Legged Dog

Our dog, Roo, has three legs. Now, that’s not that big of a deal. As our old, random, possibly-a-hoarder Eastern-European neighbor said once, “she’s got one more than me.” And he was right.

You wouldn't even notice that there's only one leg back there.

You wouldn’t even notice that there’s only one leg back there.

Roo is not a charity case; she is not disabled in any way. And I certainly do not want the “god bless yous” that I get from strangers as they drive by me and Roo on our walks. People shout at us a lot, actually. It’s weird. Trevor and I are not saints who bear the burden of some poor, struggling creature. We’re just two people who own a dog — a dog, who, let’s be clear, runs much, much faster than either of us, and who can heave herself over a three foot gate because she was born to run free, suckers.

But last month Roo got attacked by another dog at her dog day-care, and it scared the crap out of us. The other dog, some jerk jerk-face, attacked Roo because she apparently thought that Roo was getting too aggressive with the worker at the day-care (because Roo likes to jump on people [oh, a three-legged dog can jump? yes, oh, yes she can]). As soon as the worker turned her back, this jerk-ass-jerk attacked Roo, biting and scratching her up to hell so that she needed a trip to the emergency vet for stitches. (guess how many injuries the other dog sustained? not a god-damned one, that’s how many.)

And after Roo was all stitched up (and the scratches and bites all over her body were shaved and cleaned), she didn’t exhibit the slightest fear of other dogs, nor any other kinds of post-traumatic stress.

Hey, turtle. Want to be my best friend and go on adventures?

Hey, turtle. I can’t go to day-care for a while. Want to be my best friend and go on adventures?

And then, Roo developed a…bulge, I guess you’d call it, on her side, right where this jerk-asshole-jerk dog had scratched her. It was a pocket where the skin had been ripped free of the muscle underneath, and it filled with fluid. So the vet drained it, and now it’s a hardened lump of scar tissue. Awesome.

Roo has visited the vet more in the last three weeks than she ever had. And this is a dog who got her leg amputated.

Why are we here at the vet again? You'd better give me 1,000 biscuits to make up for this bologna.

Why are we here at the vet again? You’d better give me 1,000 biscuits to make up for this bologna.

So why am I writing about this? I don’t really know. Roo is a resilient creature, but she’s not special. We all possess the ability to bounce back. And that’s pretty neat. So, I’m going to try to be like Roo. Not “like” her in the sense that she head-butts people in the crotch to say hello; and not “like” her in the sense that she runs through the house farting up every room. But I’ll be more easy-going, even when a dog bites the shit out of my head. Metaphorically.

Don't get upset; just David Foster Wallace and chill.

Don’t get upset; just David Foster Wallace and chill.

Where we goin? Huh? Huh? Where we goin?

Where we goin? Huh? Huh? Where we goin?

Roo doesn't take a good selfie.

Let’s take a selfie. How close should I get to the camera? Like, this close? Closer?

(If you’re looking for an amazing, resilient dog like Roo, you should check out One Tail at a Time, the rescue organization that scooped Roo up from the pound and that does great work for lots of other great dogs.)

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