Monday, December 7, 2009

Dachshund Oddities in History: Dog Who Walked on Two Front Legs After Lawnmower Incident

(click photo to enlarge)

Long before there was 'Faith,' the inspirational biped dog who walks on her 2 hind legs, was this black and tan smooth girl apparently named 'Doggie,' who lost her hind legs after an unfortunate lawnmower incident, and learned to walk on her front legs.  Little is known about this girl except from this article from the American Dachshund, February, 1966:


Rear Legs Severed, Dachshund Learns to Walk on Front Legs

This photo was reproduced from a newspaper clipping received from E. Dolores Faust of Sinking Spring, Penna.  No other picture was obtainable, said Miss Faust.
Nor was the name of the newspaper.
But the clipping, apparently quite recent, said a 12-year-old female Dachshund named Doggie does all her walking on her front legs.  The story quotes a veterinarian named Dr. Sam Foss and the dog's owner, Charles Reagan, "a 58-year-old farmer from Rushville, Ind."
The story in part:
"I was using a power mower on the front lawn," said Reagan.  "Doggie had never come within 20 yards of that mower.  But suddenly a rabbit dashed across the lawn and Doggie chased it."
"When the rabbit made a sudden turn, Doggie ran right into the path of the mower blades.  I heard a crunch, heard Doggie yelp, and saw her squirm on the ground."
"Her left rear leg had been cut off cleanly, without leaving a stump.  Her right leg had been cut in half, leaving a 4-inch stump.  I saw the remains of her rear legs on the grass, and I cried like a baby."
After two weeks in animal hospital, bandages were removed.  The wounds had healed perfectly.  Doggie spent her first week back home just sitting, looking puzzled.
Reagan went to a specialist, "I was willing to spend $1,000 to help Doggie walk again," he said.  When he got home that evening, Doggie barked and walked right over to him - standing on her front legs.  He invited Dr. Foss to come and see.
"Doggie not only managed to balance perfectly, but walked from room to room, and even made it up and down stairs without falling," said Dr. Foss.  "Outdoors she walked up and down steep hills without stumbling."
Doggie now follows her master all over his farm, but once in a while lies down to catch her breath.
"There's one change in Doggie," said Reagan.  "Now she's really careful of all kinds of machinery.  If she sees a lawn mower or a tractor, she heads in the other direction.  She's a smart dog."
That's what the clipping says.


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