The purpose of the Varsity Report is to promote good pet health by calling attention to fun and informative pet health and fitness topics. And one of the most enjoyable aspects of this “job” is getting to hear stories about exceptional pets doing amazing things. In an effort to bring those often-incredible stories to you on a regular basis, we’ll be devoting one column every month to highlighting a pet whose character, athleticism, or heroism truly stands “Haunches and Hackles Above the Rest.”
In this, the first edition of our Haunches and Hackles Above the Rest column, we’ll be telling the story of Naki’o, the bionic dog. But, before we go there, two quick notes:
- First, we need your help to ensure that all outstanding pets get the attention they deserve. Do you know a stand-out pooch who deserves some special recognition? Well, let us know — send us an e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or “like” the Varsity Pets Facebook page and post a photo of and story about your pet. Your pup could be featured in next month’s edition of Haunches and Hackles! (Plus, as a member of the Varsity Team, you’ll get special offers and exclusive pet health and fitness information.)
- Second, we should clarify that this column is in no way intended to belittle or marginalize the ho-hum, everyday greatness in all of our pets. Nothing about Haunches and Hackles should be taken to suggest that any of the featured animals is in any way better, in our judgment, than any other pets. They’re all pretty great.
Now on to the good stuff …
“We can rebuild him. We have the technology.”
Once in a while a story come along that reminds you just how wonderful technological advancements can be when they are wielded by the right people. A short time ago, the nice folks over at Incredible Features broke the inspirational story of Naki’o, the first dog ever to walk on four prosthetic paws. Naki’o, it seems, lost all four of his paws to frostbite after being abandoned by his owners in the middle of a cold Nebraskan winter:
Abandoned by a family fleeing their foreclosed home and their mother dead, Naki’o and his brothers and sisters barely survived the harsh Nebraskan winter. Weakened by malnourishment, the red heeler puppy stepped into an icy puddle in the basement and got his four paws stuck in freezing water.
At just five weeks old the litter was taken to an animal rescue center. Under the shelter’s care Naki’o’s paws, lost to severe frostbite, healed to rounded stumps.
But Naki’o’s luck would change after meeting Christie Tomlinson, a veterinary technician, and Martin Kaufmann, the founder of the veterinary orthotics and prosthetics manufacturer OrthoPets. According to Incredible Features, Ms. Tomlinson “organized a fundraiser to pay for Naki’o to have his two back legs fitted with prosthetics.” From there, “[h]e took to these so enthusiastically, that Orthopets decided to complete the process free of charge. It was the first time they’d fitted an animal with a complete set of new legs.”
While the tremendous kindness and generosity shown by Ms. Tomlinson and Orthopets is surely the most laudable aspect of this story, the most remarkable aspect is that Naki’o has taken to his new legs like slime to a slug. According to Ms. Tomlinson, the Six Million Dollar Pup “can now not only chase after a ball with other dogs, but he can beat them to the catch!” Hyperbole? Hardly. Check out the video:
Wow. Congrats to you Naki’o, with the support of your new legs, you truly stand Haunches and Hackles Above the Rest!
For more info about the incredible work being done by Orthopets, click here.