Dogs without front legs give theraputic visits to hospital patients

Dogs without front legs give theraputic visits to hospital patients

By Matt Flener, NBC News | Posted - Dec. 29, 2012 at 8:02 p.m.


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STEAMBOAT, Colo. — A dog with a can-do attitude has not only inspired his owners, but he's also inspiring hospital patients.

Melissa and Ken Rogers live high in the mountains near Steamboat Springs, Colo., with their five dogs and a cat.

"We tend to adopt pets with disabilities and do everything we can to try to help them," Ken Rogers said.

The couple, both with backgrounds in the medical field, were drawn to these animals several years ago. They say it's just part of who they are.

"Seven years ago we saw a news piece about a dog that was missing his front legs and they were looking for a home for him," Ken Rogers said.

Enter Kandu, pronounced "can-do."

"He has a can do attitude that nothing's going to stop him. He will go up steps, he'll try to go swimming," Ken Rogers said.

The dog is missing his two front legs, just like his new friend Lucy.

"We don't think they're any different than any other dog," Ken Rogers said.

So the family who took these two in decided they'd something about it. Ken Rogers began creating prosthetic mobility devices that strap onto the dogs' chests. Some use wheels, while some resemble a tiny sled. Whatever the method, they help their dogs and other dogs with disabilities. They say they've made a half a dozen or so of the gizmos to help dogs get around.

"They suddenly have more mobility than they ever have," Ken Rogers sad.

Their owners believe that these dogs with happy dispositions can help others. Twice a month, they make a visit to the Yampa Valley Medical Center, where Melissa Rogers works, where the dogs inspire.

"When they see Kandu often times forget about what's wrong with them," Ken Rogers said.

"It shows people if this dog can do it, you can do it too," said one patient.

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Matt Flener
    NBC News

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