It was “love at first sight” for a 15-year-old boy and a six-legged puppy several weeks ago when the teen spotted the misfit dog at a breeder’s and ended up walking away with a friend for life.
Lauren Salmon, a mom of four from Orpington, United Kingdom, said her son Luke especially needed the comfort of a dog’s love at this time in his life.
The teen suffers from psoriasis, a skin condition that causes “thick red skin and silvery scales,” according to the Centers for Disease Control. After putting up with bullying at school as a result of his illness, he was in need of some extra company. And where better to find it than a new furry friend?
He discovered 8-week-old “Roo,” nicknamed for her kangaroo-like mode of hopping, and instantly knew he wanted to bring her home.
“Luke feels like the odd one out because of his condition, and now he’s got a best friend to match,” Salmon told SWNS. The mom said that the lab puppy is already fitting in nicely at home, although her two extra front legs make it hard for her to walk.
Instead of walking with all six legs on the ground, the pup typically hops or crawls.
“When she walks, she sort of staggers on her elbows with her bum in the air, like an army crawl,” Salmon said. “It’s sad but it’s cute at the same time because she is so full of energy.”
“When she jumps up on us she looks like a kangaroo, hence the name.”
So far Roo and Luke have been inseparable.
“Luke is like a protective father,” Salmon said. “They never leave each other’s sides and she even sleeps in his bed.”
“I think Roo will reduce Luke’s stress and that should help his skin,” she added. “She’s full of puppy energy, so we’d describe her as placid but playful.”
The puppy, however, still needs a little extra love. Because of her issues, her new family decided to consult a special vet to help care for Roo, reaching out to “The Supervet” Dr. Noel Fitzpatrick. The famed veterinarian stars in his own show treating extra-challenging ailments for all kinds of animals. Salmon is hoping he can help Roo, too.
The case isn’t an urgent one though, as Roo’s “special legs don’t cause her any pain.” But the wobbly puppy needs help with her mobility, and the family hopes someday she will be able to walk with more ease.
“We absolutely love Roo to pieces. She’s is just a normal dog to us — just with a couple of extra bits,” Salmon said, explaining that Roo’s disability in no way made her less of a joy for their family or less of a pal for her son. On the contrary, the dog’s “extra bits” just seemed to add more personality. Salmon said that disabled dogs are still worth the world to those who love them.
“I think the breeders kill them off because they’re not worth anything,” she said. “But to us she’s priceless.”
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