Arizona dog born without front legs doesn’t know he’s different
The way Owen fights for a Frisbee with another dog, you’d never know he didn’t have his front legs.
Owen probably doesn’t know, either. He’s never had them.
“He has never realized that he is different and tries to do everything all the big dogs do,” said his owner, Sue Wakeman, of Surprise, Ariz., northwest of Phoenix.
Owen, a border collie/husky mix, has had a set of wheels to help him get around. But now that he’s a little over a year old, he’s outgrown them, and a campaign is underway to raise the money to get Owen new wheels and prosthetic legs.
As of Wednesday morning, a Gofundme drive , “Wheels for Owen,” has raised $1,685 toward a $3,000 goal, from 29 people in four days. It was started by Amber Barbarita Marshall, who Wakeman said is a friend she met at the park.
“This apparatus could help him run around as he pleases without too much difficulty,” the campaign page says. “He does pretty good on his own but this sure would make a difference in his life.”
Wakeman, who puts her age as only “60+,” was in the Army and Army Reserves. She is retired from the Army and Air Force Exchange Service, and the Arizona Department of Corrections.
Her husband, an Air Force veteran, and her mother-in-law both died in March 2016, and shortly after she had to put her border collie to sleep. It was in August that year that Wakeman fostered Owen — her way of coping with those losses.
Owen was born with just nubs for front feet. He was rescued from Texas by the Arizona Border Collie Rescue .
“He’s one of six siblings that have birth defects,” Wakeman said. “The story is that his mom was bit by a rattlesnake, and that with the anti-venom helped cause the defects.”
Owen was the last to be adopted. Wakeman at first had no intention of being his mom.
“But, as luck would have it, all his siblings were adopted and after two months of fostering him, my son and I couldn’t give him up,” she said.
Owen has his own Facebook page, ” Owen’s Many Adventures .”
People at Surprise Farms dog park are helping Wakeman raise money for Owen’s prosthetics and new wheels.
“That Facebook group known as the Surprise Farms Dog Park Morning Players has so many people who are kind and giving,” she said. “I’m overwhelmed at the generosity of dog lovers. They really are the best people.”
Brian C. Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-226-4701, [email protected] or on Twitter @BCRittmeyer.