Arizona dog born without front legs doesn’t know he’s different |

Arizona dog born without front legs doesn’t know he’s different

Brian C. Rittmeyer
Submitted | Sue Wakeman
Owen, a border collie/husky mix, was born without his front legs. A Gofundme campaign is underway to get him prosthetic legs and new wheels to replace the ones he has outgrown, pictured here.
Owen, a border collie/husky mix, was one of six siblings who suffered birth defects after their mother was bitten by a rattlesnake and treated with anti-venom.

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.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.