When Kyle went through a rough patch in his life, he thought adopting a three-legged dog would give him a sense of purpose again.
He went to the local shelter, and immediately, a three-legged lab stood out to him. The employees told him he’d have his hands full, but he felt a strange connection to the dog right away.
But he couldn’t go back home without the tiny lab puppy who so badly needed someone to adopt him.
“When Tre and I met, I was going through a very difficult time in my life, and I felt like I needed something to care about,” Kyle said. “I came across this little 3-month-old Black Lab who had just had his leg amputated. They told me it would be a lot of work, you know, he was still getting used to walking around on three legs.”
It was puppy love at first sight for Kyle.
But as soon as he saw Tre, he thought, “This dog is exactly what I need in my life right now!”
When Kyle brought him home, he soon realized he’d have to make some adjustments. The three-legged dog had a hard time walking on his slippery tile floor, so Kyle got an idea. He brought in a bunch of yoga mats, rugs, and carpets to make it easier for him.
“I still had to help him learn how to stand up, learn how to balance. We gradually built up the strength in his back leg so that he could walk around on his own.”
After a little practice and help from his dad, Tre’s confidence and strength shined through him. He seemed comfortable and well-adjusted, and life seemed good.
Tre suffers a frightening setback.
After about three months, though, Tre began to show signs of pain in his back leg. He didn’t want to put weight on it, and cried whenever he walked. Kyle immediately took him to the vet where they found out Tre had something called avascular necrosis. This condition occurs when the blood flow doesn’t reach the bone, which causes the bone to disintegrate.
Sadly, the vet didn’t know if Tre would ever walk again. But, after having another surgery, Tre recovered and built up his strength once again. His determination and bravery greatly inspired Kyle, because he got to watch him rise above any challenge he faced.
“He’s really an inspiration, you know, there’s something special that happens when you see an innocent little puppy who, in his first 6 months of life, had two major surgeries,” Kyle said. “He lost one leg, and he almost lost another leg.”
After his surgery, Kyle carried Tre around for six to eight weeks, although he stayed in the house most of that time. To get him out a bit, Kyle would put him in his Jeep and drive him slowly around the neighborhood at night. Kyle said he looked forward to the ride every single day.
A happy recovery for the three-legged dog, Tre
Three months after his surgery, Tre finally went for a walk around the whole neighborhood without sitting down even once. As Kyle sat down next to him, he said he cried his eyes out because he felt so proud of his little puppy.
“Now he walks around, runs around the yard, chases squirrels and rabbits; there’s really nothing that he can’t do,” Kyle said. Seeing Tre overcome obstacles inspires Kyle to take on challenges in his own life.
“I had always had this dream of competing on American Ninja Warrior, but after seeing him go through what he went through, I got a new boost of confidence. I said, ‘You know what?’ I’m gonna chase my dreams, and I’m not gonna stop until I achieve my goals. Watching Tre get through everything he’s gone through – always happy, always joyful – it just makes you realize that when you believe in yourself, anything is possible!”
Kyle encourages anyone watching the video or reading this article to adopt an animal, especially special needs animals. They have a lot of love to give, and they’ll inspire you to become better yourself.
“It will change your life, I’m telling you.”
Kyle is the perfect person to own a three-legged dog, actually, because he works as an occupational therapist. Being so used to helping people recover and develop skills for everyday life, he poured all that knowledge into his dog. Now, Kyle offers “1-on-1 ninja sessions” for anyone training for competitions or wanting to increase their fitness. He brings Tre along as a therapy dog to make the experience even more fun!
Final thoughts on adopting a three-legged dog
Having a three-legged dog, like any animal with a disability, does come with challenges, but it’s well-worth it. You’ll give them a loving home as well as help them learn to live (and thrive!) with their disability. However, you’ll need to make sure you have the time and resources to take care of a special needs pet. They made need therapy and surgeries, which can get expensive. Most importantly, though, they just need patience and lots of love.