REGINA – A dog that lost its back paws after they were frozen to the ground in northern Saskatchewan is now running around on prosthetic parts. The border collie cross, named Hector, was a newborn stray when he got into trouble in the village of La Loche in January 2013. It’s believed his hind feet and part of his tail were ripped away when his mother picked him up off the frigid ground.
Lisa Korol, an RCMP dispatcher in Regina, spotted the pooch on a rescue group’s website and took him in. The 47-year-old says that from the start, she wanted Hector to have the best life possible. She bought him an initial pair of prosthetic paws but they didn’t work well.
So earlier this year, she and a friend held a fundraiser for a new pair that cost $3,800. They raised more than $7,000.
His new legs arrived a few days ago and he was fitted at an animal hospital. Korol says as soon as they got home, Hector dashed to a snow bank, stuck his head inside and started making a tunnel, “because he could push himself with his back feet.”
It was something he couldn’t do before. Korol says she puts the prosthetics on Hector a few times each day, and he’s always waiting.
“With them on, he’s going constantly. He’s checking things out. He’s trying to jump up where normally he can’t go.
“He’s turned into a dog with four legs.”
Korol hopes that after Hector is better adjusted to his new paws, he can be certified as a therapy dog for humans who have lost limbs and who are going through rehabilitation.
“Just going out and showing people that just because you lost your limbs doesn’t mean your life is over.”