The woman who helped rescue the eight-week-old puppy couldn’t help but cheer him on as he tested out new legs.
“I think everybody had a big gulp when he took that first movement forward. He is the sweetest boy and he has got such a happy disposition,” said Joan Znidarec, president and co-founder of The Dog Rescuers Inc.
Cupid was born without front legs and he was found in a bag in a garbage bin, then later rejected by a rescue which described him as “unadoptable.”
When Znidarec got involved, Cupid was finally given a chance at life.
He was nursed back to health and has now had the change to try out new, custom built prosthetic legs.
Without knowing how to walk yet, he gets the ultimate set of Canadian training wheels – skis.
He didn’t seem to understand at first, but enticing him forward with treats and a tennis ball soon had Cupid on the move.
Cupid tended to tip over when he turned too sharply, but the puppy soon seemed to get the hang of it.
Since his story went public, Znidarec has been overwhelmed by an outpouring of support from around the world.
“Somebody out there envisioned him as trash and put him there. For everyone else to see him as the special little boy he is has been absolutely heart warming,” she said.
Cupid’s journey forward still won’t be an easy one as learning to walk is going to be difficult.
The puppy has to build up core strength with physiotherapy and swimming. He also has to learn coordination.
He is used to sliding forward with his front legs tucked underneath him.
“I haven’t fit a dog who is bilateral front limb and that short. I think for this we are giving him the best opportunity,” said Janice Olynich, owner of PawsAbility and a prosthetist who specializes in dogs.
Cupid isn’t expected ever to run, but it’s hoped he will learn to walk on his prosthetic legs without the skis.
Znidarec said the rescue will choose his adoptive family carefully and they intend to stay involved every step of the way.
As Znidarec reflected on Cupid’s progress, it brought out her emotions.
“We’ve got our trainer on board with lots of ideas how to get him to use his little stubbies forward, and yeah, we are feeling really good. I’m getting all teary.”