Plenty of rescue dogs end up in their forever homes, but lots of others are overlooked and ignored due to worries or fears about behavioral problems, or simply because they aren’t ‘cute enough’ or look a little different to the others.
Shelter workers feared that a husky mix named Gus might experience the same fate due to his unique condition: Gus was born with a shortened right front leg and a deformed left leg that had to be amputated.
He was abandoned before he was even a year old, trying to survive on the streets with only two good legs before he was picked up and sent to a local South Dakota shelter, waiting and hoping for someone to love and care for him.
Fortunately, his lifeline arrived in the form of Melody Rezzonico, an adventurous young woman who already owned a few rescue dogs and was looking for another member to join her growing pack.
When she first saw Gus, Melody admits she was a little surprised, joking that he looked like a kangaroo due to the way he stood up on his hind legs. She knew that he’d probably need quite a lot of special care, but she didn’t mind. It was love at first sight and she knew she simply had to save him! In an interview with GMA, Melody shared these inspirational words:
I just fell in love with his smile. Just because he’s a little different doesn’t mean he’s not worth fighting for.
She brought Gus to his new home in Laramie, Wyoming, quickly learning that in spite of his physical limitations, he was a very energetic and fun-loving pup.
In Melody’s words, Gus is the “the most active dog” she has. And as an adventurer, hiker, and explorer, Melody was simply the perfect owner for him. Still, seeing the way he sometimes struggled to get around, Melody knew she had to do something to give Gus a helping hand.
She got in touch with a company that makes wheelchairs for animals and ordered a custom chair for Gus.
This incredible chair allows Gus to roll around with ease, heading on even more adventures with his owner and new canine companions. He’s been hiking, backpacking, and even swimming.
He’s been living the high life, becoming firm friends with all his new pals and loving every day.
Just look how happy he is!
Unfortunately, even with his chair, there were still some situations that Gus couldn’t handle, particularly on sandy or snowy terrain. So, once again, Melody sought help from an expert: animal orthotist Derrick Campana.
Campana, head of the company ‘Bionic Pets’ makes special prosthetics and other life-changing items for disabled pets. He made Gus a special body shell that allows him to glide across snow and sand.
Many people would have seen a dog like Gus in the shelter and simply moved on, but Melody had the compassion to give him a chance.
She did a wonderful thing, not only saving Gus from a lonely life but also going above and beyond to help him with his disability. Learn more about their story in the video below.
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