By Ted Scouten
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MIAMI, Florida (WFOR) – When we first met Ryder, he was struggling to walk.
The one-year-old German Shepherd Rescue is missing part of its hind legs and hind paws. Then his life changed.
Ryder was given custom-made prosthetic legs and paws and had to learn to walk again.
At the beginning of his journey, when he first walked with prostheses, it wasn’t easy. But over time, and with a few adjustments, he is pretty good at his prosthetics.
Hydrotherapy and hard work pay off. Dr. Marta Sanchez-Emden from the Animal Health and Rehab Center in South Miami leads his therapy.
“He ran like a kangaroo all his life, the stumps jumping at the same time. So first of all we want to teach him that he can walk horizontally with his spine instead of down, and that he can use one leg and then the other like a normal gate, ”said Dr. Sanchez-Emden.
She said with the progress Ryder is making, he can look forward to a happy, healthy life.
“Will he ever be able to walk?” asked Ted Scouten from CBS 4.
“Oh yes,” said Dr. Sanchez-Emden. “He should be able to run, jump, go boating when he wants, he’ll be able to do what he wants.”
Sofia Valverde leads Picolini’s Animal Rescue in Coconut Grove.
“He’s just full of life, a happy dog. He never really thought he was any different from the other German Shepherds he was with, ”said Valverde.
Her group saved Ryder. She is amazed at his progress.
“He finished his water therapy so he can play more without getting tired. Before that, he ran a bit or tried to run and just had to lie down because his back or legs hurt, ”she said.
Valverde said we can all learn a lot from a dog like Ryder.
“He just accepted himself and thought he was the same and he’s perfect, he’s absolutely perfect for who he is. And only his love for life that reminds you what matters is to be happy and kind to others, ”she said.
Now that Ryder has his prosthetic legs and is doing pretty well with walking and therapy, it’s time for him to get a “forever” home.
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