There once was a three-pawed dog
Mateos story and how he got his prosthesis
Once upon a time there was a tripod in Greece, more precisely on Crete. Together with his sister, Mateo lived for an unknown time at a highway rest stop in a cardboard box surrounded by garbage.
One day, a woman drove past the motorway service station and discovered the two mini strays. She didn’t waste any time. When she lifted Mateo up, she made the terrible discovery: the puppy was missing its left paw. Soon she packed her sister as well. At first glance, nothing was missing.
When she and her siblings arrived at the vet, it turned out that both were infected with worms. This also explained the thick and hard bellies. Mateo’s sister was luckily so far healthy. When the vet examined Mateos stump, he quickly knew from the scar: The paw is not missing from birth. It must have been an accident or worse – I will not go into the variety of possibilities here.
Mateo and his sister were accommodated at the animal shelter Praxie’s Promise in Greece and they were given the names Toby and Tara. He got the name Toby from his godmother, who explained to me that she named him Bailey after the tripod of the same name from the movie! Pretty fitting, isn’t it?
The animal protection organization Street Dogs Crete tried to find a foster home or a final destination for the two.
Mateos journey began at the age of 5 months in Cottbus. His foster home waited already longingly for him. Here he would get his new name Mateo and the verpinscht family would meet him for the first time.
Because: Mateo is staying with very good friends (@fairytrails) of us. We got to know each other through the social media platform Instagram. Although 600 kilometers separate us, we meet regularly and sometimes even more than 4 times a year.
In February 2019 it was time again. For us we went to Cottbus for a few days. There we got to know Mateo and soon I realized that a three-legged dog is not much different from a normal dog.
I remember exactly how astonished I was about how well Mateo coped with his handicap. He was jumping around happily, playing and raving with our dogs. As if everything was completely normal and somehow it is!
The time with Clara and Andre passed by as always very fast. When we went back, I took one with me: I didn’t know anything about disabled dogs until then and I was very prejudiced. I saw handicapped dogs in a different light now. More than dogs, in a way.
Our next meeting came soon!
A month later Clara and Andre visited us with Mateo in tow! A shorter visit than usual because: Mateo would get his final prosthesis on the way home.
Once again I was confronted with this gentle soul of dog. Mateo had developed super in the short time and on the first round together I was again totally astonished how he participated in life quite naturally, playing with the other dogs and playing around. After this meeting I seriously considered adopting a third dog.
Now the next big chapter started for Mateo aka Toby.
Clara and Andre made a side trip to Hannover on their way home: Here a prosthesis maker had made himself (Hi Nils! :)) had accepted Mateo’s stump and made a free prosthetic leg for him after he and his girlfriend had seen the appeal for donations by Clara and Andre on Instagram. His prosthesis, which grew with him, was finished and only had to be picked up. I only saw Mateo’s first steps with the new walking aid on video, but it moved me to tears. I was so happy for this little dog fart.
Clara fed me regularly with pictures and video material of Mateo and told me how well he was doing: Mateo showed no signs of trauma from the missing paw. He developed like a normal dog, without any fear. He mastered everything very well: city visits, visits to the zoo and also restaurant visits. Mateos character speaks for a perfect beginner dog… or maybe for a perfect third dog? 😉
After I wrote a few times with Clara about the adoption and we finally agreed that Mateo was allowed to move in with us, it finally happened a few weeks later: Mateo became part of the verpinscht family!
Today we write 01 October 2019 – Mateos birthday! Soon the next big chapter of his journey begins: The making of the final prosthesis.
Of course we will have it made by Nils and I can’t wait to take our community with me on this adventure.