Sally – the story of a three-legged Labrador

Some years ago we started to foster dogs. A neighbour of ours was fostering cats, and it seemed like a good idea, so we volunteered to look after abandoned or neglected dogs until suitable permanent homes could be found for them.

The first batch we received comprised a Labrador bitch and her four small puppies. She was called ‘Lassie’; I thought this an unsuitable name for a lab and suggested we change it to ‘Sally’.

Sally had a problem with her right front leg, which was badly injured near the shoulder. It had been broken – perhaps she’d been hit by a car – and not looked after. Her ribs were visible through her coat, and she was generally in very poor shape. The first night she snarled at us if we went near the pups. But once she realized that we meant them all well, she became very friendly and docile; soon she was running round the garden and keeping her pups in line.

The paw of her useless injured leg dragged along the ground – a vet advised us that it would become infected, and that the leg should be amputated at the shoulder. This was duly done – Sally was back with us the next day, and running around at top speed after another day or so, apparently relieved to be rid of the useless limb. She was an energetic dog, and never tired of chasing tennis balls. We used to take her for walks as well, and she was not shy about fighting with her arch-enemy – an Old English sheepdog from across the road – when she got the chance on a couple of occasions. Those were serious fights.

Good homes were soon found for the puppies, but we had Sally for a year or so. We were sorry to see her go in the end, but delighted that she got a great home, with a young couple who had a male Labrador. They brought him to meet Sally and the two dogs got on well, so they adopted her. They live beside a beach, and used to email us pictures of Sally swimming happily in the sea. She had fallen on her (three) feet.

We fostered various other dogs and pups for another year or so, but we didn’t really have proper facilities and, after some pups got out on the road, we stopped fostering … we adopted a couple of terriers instead. They fell on their feet too, and have a great life.

[I later found and added two pics of Sally to this post.]

These are a couple of the other fosterees.


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9 Comments

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9 responses to “Sally – the story of a three-legged Labrador

  1. Heartwarming story.
    I have a very soft spot for labradors, especially black ones. My grandparents had one called Sally when I was very small, then Tessa, who eventually came to live with us.
    Do post a picture if you find one!

  2. Thanks, Isobel. I think the pics may have been lost in one of our occasional computing disasters, unfortunately.

    One of our fostered puppies was called Tessa, as I recall.

  3. Thanks Brendan! She looks a lovely dog with an intelligent face.
    I was going to foster a cat after Cat died, but as you know, I have ended up adopting instead.

  4. Hi Isobel. Not Cat is a nice-looking specimen.

  5. Thanks, yes he is a sweet boy. I posted about him and he is progressing earlier on my page.
    Have you taken any steps to having a new cat?

  6. No … that seems to have been shelved for now. Haven’t seen any rats in the vicinity lately, so maybe the dogs are keeping them away.

  7. I came across this entry in a journal for 28 May 2005. Apparently we had Sally for a shorter duration than I remembered:

    Sally left us on Wednesday, after almost six months, during the epic Champions League final between AC Milan and Liverpool. Pauline had been praying to her angels that Sally would get a good home, and this certainly transpired. A couple called Sonia and Shane, from Skerries, came up to see her with their male black Labrador, Harley. All three are very nice, and Sally got on well with all of them. She will have a garden to play in, regular walks on the beach, and swims in the sea – it’s pretty much perfect. We miss her, but hope to get some puppies soon. We had set up a fenced dog pen attached to Susanna’s old playhouse in the garden.

  8. Ann

    Beautiful story–you are angels on earth, Brendan!

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