A three-legged therapy dog is bringing hope to kids with limb differences at Shriners Children’s Lexington in Kentucky. According to People, the rescue dog visits kids in the hospital and helps them feel more confident in their bodies.
Wounded pup gets second chance
No one would’ve predicted that Chance would become a therapy dog. He was found with a bullet in his shoulder, starving to death. Camp Jean Rescue took him in and provided life-saving medical care. Unfortunately, because of the physical damage due to the bullet wound, veterinarians had to amputate Chase’s left front leg. Also, his collarbone and shoulder were removed.
Andrea White became Chance’s mom and handler six weeks post-amputation.
“After seeing how gentle and intelligent he was, as well as obedient, I decided to pursue getting him pet therapy certified,” White told People. “As a former nurse at Shriners, I knew I wanted to focus on visiting patients with limb deficiencies.”
Thanks to Love on a Leash, Chance and White enrolled in pet therapy training at Love on a Leash. Before long, he became a certified therapy dog. His “eager to please” demeanor led to a role bringing smiles and comfort to kids with limb differences at Shriners Children’s Lexington.
“Most visits occur in the clinic exam rooms, and the kids just light up when we walk in. Many of them get down on the floor to be closer to him, as do parents and siblings. Everyone is very curious about how he lost his leg,” White told People.
Kids bond with three-legged therapy dog
Families are grateful for the opportunity to befriend the tripod dog. Emily Yost has a 4-year-old son, Arlo, who has a prosthesis. They met Chance at the hospital.
“Meeting Chance was such an unexpectedly profound experience for our family,” Yoast told People. “With Chance, I could tell there was another level of relatability and compassion coming from our son. He had a ton of questions after the visit about what happened to Chance and what we could do to help him further.”
She continued: “We explained to Arlo that just like him, Chance is and will be OK and can do anything he puts his puppy mind to — just like Arlo does every day.”
Hospital staff also enjoy having a furry colleague around. Beth English is a certified therapeutic recreational therapist at the hospital.
“Seeing Chance takes away a lot of anxiety and stress around a lengthy visit to our prosthetics clinic,” she told People. “A lot of visits for prosthetics can be over an hour long, so visiting with Chance gives patients and families something to look forward to. The smiles on the patients’ and families’ faces show it all.”
And when he gets home, Chance doesn’t just cash out on the couch. Rather, he plays with his rescue dog sibling, Sadie, or follows White around the house.
According to People, “White hopes Chance’s work inspires animal lovers to support therapy dog programs, which aren’t only in hospitals but in nursing homes, schools, airports, libraries, and more as well.”