REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN (CBC News) – A Canadian dog who hasn’t been able to use his back legs since he was born is back on all fours.
This is a story of a caring, generous woman, a dog in dire straits, and a community that rallied to help.
Hector is a precocious 2-year-old. But the puppy has spent most of his life stuck inside because he could scrape or get infections on his crippled hind legs.
When Lisa Korol adopted him, she was told his mother, a stray dog in Northern Saskatchewan, gave birth to him in the minus 40 degree cold.
“His tail and his feet were already frozen to the ground, and so they stuck and she tore them off,” Korol explains.
Last year Korol shared Hector’s story, and people started raising money to buy him prosthetic legs.
Getting Hector mobile did take some time and money, so a steak-dinner fundraiser was held to help with the bills and local businesses contributed.
After arriving from British Columbia a week ago, the $3,800 legs were fitted.
Now, Korol can barely keep up.
“He’s like any other dog now. He runs, plays.” Korol said. “And he loves the snow, for somebody who had his feet frozen, if there’s snowbanks, he’s in them if he’s got his legs on.”
And something new, too.
“Now, he’s a boy, so he can mark every pole (laughs) anything!” Korol said.
Hector is still testing the legs. He can only wear them for an hour, three times a day. But he’s not holding back.
As for his owner.
“It’s changed my outlook on people,” Korol said.
Korol gets a little choked up, and prefers to keep the spotlight on Hector. He’s already visited school kids, and and a rehab clinic for amputees.
“He makes people smile, he makes people happy,” Korol said. “If you’re having a bad day, come see Hector.”