Trey the Therapy Dog

I’ve written before that I do a lot of animal assisted therapy with the clients I work with at the neurorehabilitation clinic.  Most of our clients have sustained very serious injuries, including brain injuries.  This week, they got to meet a very special dog.  Trey is a German Shepherd-Keeshond mix therapy dog who has a disability. He has only three legs. He lost his right front leg in a trap when he was 3-months old. He had two separate amputations. During the first amputation, his leg wasn’t taken high enough, so he kept walking on it, which led to an infection.  When he became very sick, his owners gave him to a rescue who took care of his second amputation, removing the leg fully above the shoulder. He was then placed for adoption, when Gini met him. She wasn’t looking for another dog, but she was afraid no one would want a 3-legged do or worse yet, a dog fighter would take him for bait. After getting a clean bill of health from her vet on Trey, she adopted him.

Later Trey gained weight and developed arthritis in his front knee, Gini ordered him a wheelchair from Doggon Wheels to help him get around. She was able to help him lose weight, through diet and exercise and now he only uses it for traveling long distances, like when he has a long way to go for his animal therapy visits at nursing homes.   He used it to visit us, but mostly for demonstration purposes.  He’s a very sweet dog with a big smile, who doesn’t seem to notice that he has a disability. Gini says he loves to play with her other dogs, especially in the snow.  Gini learned a lot about disabilities when she took Trey to visit children with disabilities.   She asked them what they noticed about Trey, thinking they’d say that he only has three legs or that he limps, but they just said that he was really furry and pretty.  In other words, they noticed the important things.


8 Responses

  1. I think I’ve told you but maybe not…… both my ferrets have special needs. Cashew is blind and Pecan is deaf. They never focus on what they cannot do…….. together they are more than 2X the trouble! It’s amazing watching them figure out ways to open food contaniers deemeed “Impenitrable”. They seem to focus on the others’ strengths instead of what the other cannot do!

  2. I should have mentioned another 3-legged dog we had visit – also missing a front leg. His owner said he runs fast and can pivot on a dime, which her other dogs can’t. The 3-legged dog uses this, running and pivoting suddenly changing direction. The other dogs just run off in a big circle. They can’t keep up! She thinks he does this on purpose because he’s so good at it and it’s his way of staying ahead of the pack.

  3. So sweet!! He seems like a very special guy!

  4. Wow – -these gave me tears twice — once on the thought that dog fighters actually find dogs for bait, oh my god!!! Second, the response of the disabled children. Wonderful dog.

  5. Kids are cool like that. They notcie the important stuff…like fur.

  6. Love this story about Trey…what a wonder.

  7. that’s awesome.
    Wish they could do that with a horse. 😦

  8. All of us have special needs that need to be met. Glad someone found the love to help Trey.

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