Boy with a limb difference just adopted a 3-legged puppy | Way of life
Eleven golden retriever puppies were born to a litter on Barb and Russ Felt’s Minnesota farm in February. One stood out from the rest: a sleeping 12-ounce puppy that was missing its right paw.
The Felts’ veterinary team speculated that the puppy’s umbilical cord was wrapped around its leg in the womb, preventing full growth, said Barb Felt, who raised golden retrievers on the 200-acre farm. , Rolling Oaks Goldens, for 40 years.
She and her husband called the puppy Marvel, and they had an idea of ââwhat to do with her, Felt said.
âWe decided it would be wonderful to place her with someone who also has a limb difference,â said Felt, 61. âOur vision was that she would be the perfect companion for the right kid.
This day has arrived earlier than expected.
On April 9, Felt posted a video of the girl-only litter to Facebook, along with news of the charming three-legged puppy they wanted to offer up for adoption. One of their clients, an occupational therapist, saw the message and contacted Felt.
âShe said she was working with a boy who had a limb difference in his right leg and she was wondering if we would like to make a connection,â Felt said.
Soon after, she was on the phone with Blaine and Stephanie Williams, who live in Waconia, Minnesota, near the Twin Cities, with their three children, Evelyn, 8, Paxton, 7, and Dawson, 1.
The Williams told Felt that Paxton was born premature and while in the newborn intensive care unit he developed an infection in his right femur which ultimately resulted in his leg growing slowly. they declared.
After Paxton was 4, his right foot was amputated and he was fitted with a prosthetic foot, they told Felt.
She told them she had a puppy with a similar challenge, and the Williams’ were instantly intrigued. The following weekend, in mid-April, they decided to take their kids an hour’s drive to the Felts’ farm and meet Marvel.
âWe were hanging out in a living room in the kennel area, and when they brought Marvel in the kids immediately started rolling around on the floor with her,â said Blaine Williams, 38.
There was a lot of games and laughs, said Stephanie Williams, 36.
âMarvel kept pouncing on Paxton’s head,â she says. âIt was so touching and heartwarming for all of us. He kept saying, “Sweet girl”. “
On April 30, the Williams family adopted Marvel after a final vet check-up.
âYou can just see the special bond Paxton has with Marvel,â said Blaine Williams. “As soon as he sat down, Marvel was all over him, licking his face.”
Watching their son play with his new three-legged pal, the Williams said they looked back on the day he was born. They wondered at the time if he would be able to thrive and lead a normal life.
When Paxton was born at 24 weeks, he weighed a pound, 10 ounces, a micro-premature baby that didn’t weigh much more than Marvel at birth, said Stephanie Williams, who works as an accountant.
âHe was a fighter from the start – they had to do 10 surgeries to get all the infection out of the bone and he was in the hospital for four months,â she said.
Because Paxton’s right leg did not grow at the same rate as his left leg, mobility became more difficult as he got older, said Blaine Williams, an Army veteran who is now in charge of the global education for an industrial automation company.
“The difference was so big that the doctors we were referred to at Shriners recommended that we amputate his foot and get him a prosthesis so he could walk,” he said, adding that “it was a tough decision, but in the end it was the best thing for Paxton.
The Williams’ gently explained the reason for the amputation to their son.
“He took it pretty well – Paxton has always been a very easy going kid,” said Stephanie Williams.
Once he was fitted with a prosthetic foot, he was able to move more quickly, added Stephanie.
Marvel, now 11 weeks old, will also be fitted with a prosthesis when she turns eight months old, to give her more mobility.
âPaxton is so proud of her – he tells people that he’s missing a paw and that she’s ‘like me’,â said Stephanie Williams.
He doesn’t mind the difference in his son’s leg now, she said, but as he ages and becomes more aware of it, he will hopefully be comforted to have a pet suffering from dementia. ‘a similar disease.
Her older sister is also delighted.
âMarvel is like a miracle, she’s a really good match for our family, especially Paxton,â Evelyn said.
The new Williams family member takes frequent naps after frolicking on three legs and chasing three children, said Blaine Williams.
âShe’s very determined – just like Paxton,â he says. âThey are a perfect match. And Marvel is a great icebreaker for Paxton to talk about his prosthetic leg with other kids.
Paxton, who is now finishing his first year, said he looks forward to playing with his puppy every morning after waking up.
âMarvel is the cutest dog ever,â he said. “She’s so sweet I can’t help but stroke her.” And she loves me.