Whenever you bring a new dog into your life, you never really know what they experienced before their time with you.
If you get a dog from someone who’s had them since birth, you can get a brief history of their shenanigans and major life events, but pups at a shelter are kind of unreadable.
The little, brown dog that came to be known as Nessie had experienced a lot in her life — and a lot of those experiences were only hinted at by the fact that she had no front legs.
The Dodo said that Nessie was born without legs, which is not unheard of. Sometimes puppies are born with missing limbs, and many times the prospective owners thin out because of that.
Nessie was passed from house to house for a while, probably by well-meaning people who were drawn in because of her condition but didn’t quite realize just how much effort it would take to care for her.
“She was returned to the same shelter three different times,” said the unnamed woman who ended up adopting her.
The woman had lost her two dogs the year prior, and wasn’t really in the market for another dog when Nessie’s adorable mug popped up on her news feed.
Despite her initial reservations, when she saw the armless little chihuahua mix, she fell for the pup. In a heartbeat she knew she had to bring her home.
“Nessie came home a year to the day that we lost our 18-year-old dachshunds,” she said. “And we kind of thought, like, it was maybe a sign.”
“I never really considered adopting a special needs,” Nessie’s owner said. “In fact, I wasn’t looking to adopt any dog. A lot of my friends were like, ‘What are you doing? It’s a two-legged dog, that’s gonna be a lot of work.'”
“And while it has been challenging, it’s been extremely rewarding as well. We are definitely better with her than we were before. She’s really, really enriched our lives.”
The fact that she’s missing her two front legs hasn’t stopped the vivacious chihuahua mix from tearing it up and taking on life with a large helping of joy.
“I don’t think Nessie got the memo that she’s not supposed to be able to do the things that she does,” said her owner. “She’s up and down the stairs. She jumps up and down from the furniture. She just hops around like nobody told her that she shouldn’t.
And in case you’re worried that all that kangaroo hopping is putting stress on the little dog’s back and joints, be assured that her parents are conscientious and have gotten her a pair of wheels, too, so she can relieve the strain on her frame.
And between caring humans and her wheeled mobility, this pup is taking on the world.
“She had a really rough start,” her mom said, “so wherever we go, if it’s dog-friendly, she’s with us.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.