Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Maty the 3-Legged Dog Is a World Champion! You will fall in ♥

Each and every day I am reminded of the fact that the animals who surround us "live in the moment". They don't envy anyone and they don't sit around the house saying that they can't do something. They just get out there and do it. I am always so inspired by dogs like Maty. She reminds me that I can do anything that I set my mind to do - without question. Mimi

From peoplepets.com
When Lynne Ouchida (Maty3leggeddog) and Troy Kerstetter met a 9-year-old girl named Sushma in 2006, they thought she was like many of the other children that would fawn over their canine, Maty, a championship disc dog.

Sushma was different, though — she was missing a leg and both her hands — but she wasn't so different from Maty, who only has three legs. The girl and the dog played together that day, and Ouchida and Kerstetter went about their lives.

Then, Sushma's adopted grandmother, Helen Zappia, reached out to the couple, saying that the 9-year-old, who had been adopted from India four months before, had cried almost every day since coming to the United States. But after meeting Maty, little Sushma smiled and laughed for the first time since her arrival.

"Maty has been a great model for me because she tries hard in lots of things even though she only has three legs," Sushma wrote in a letter. "Just because Maty and I are missing certain body parts doesn't mean we should be looked down on because we are just as special."

Maty (pronounced like Matty), a black-and-tan shepherd mix, almost didn't have a chance to show her enormous potential. Abandoned in a motel when she was 3 weeks old, Maty was taken in by the Humane Society of Central Oregon, where Ouchida, 47, works in community outreach. Maty was almost ready to be placed with her new family, a local nursing home where she was to be a resident therapy dog, when a staph infection in her leg became so severe that Ouchida and Kerstetter considered euthanizing her.

"She just looked at us with these big brown doe eyes and wagged her tail, and we just said, 'We can't do it,'" Ouchida tells PEOPLEPets.com.

The couple worked with the nursing home and veterinarians to amputate Maty's leg. The surgery was successful, and the 9-year-old dog hasn't slowed down since. Though she ended up being adopted by Ouchida and Kerstetter, she continues working with the nursing home as a pet therapy dog, and is a canine ambassador of the Humane Society's education program, through which she visits grade school children along with Ouchida.

"One of Maty's absolute favorite things in life is getting a nub rub," Ouchida says. She loves school visits, where the children are allowed to touch Maty's nub and ask lots of questions about her. "We tell them that we treat her as if she is a normal four-legged dog. Everyone deserves that opportunity in life, to bring out their potential."

To keep Maty physically fit and mentally stimulated, Ouchida and Kerstetter began taking Maty to agility training courses. When Maty was 9 months old, the couple let her run after a Frisbee, and she "instinctively went for it," jumping to catch the disc.

Since then, Maty has placed in the 2006 and 2008 Skyhoundz Worlds Canine Disc Championship. She almost retired in 2008, when she faced a setback from moderate osteoarthritis, but yucca supplements gave Maty her bounce back, and she was able to avoid retirement and make it to the world championships.

Sushma, who missed seeing Maty compete in the 2006 event, got to go to the 2008 show, where she was "treated like royalty" by the event's sponsors. Sushma also finally got a dog to call her own, a black and tan mix just like Maty. She named the dog Maggie.

National Canine Cancer Foundation


Deborah said...

That was a beautiful story! Thank you for sharing it!

Martha and Bailey said...

Another inspirational post - thanks for that - we kinda needed it!

JackDaddy said...

What a great post to come home to!

Thank you for sharing!

Tanuki Maxx said...

Amazingly inspirational!!


Anonymous said...

What an awesome post!!!

Mango said...

Dogs don't know they only have three legs. And none of their pals stare at them or make fun of them either. Too bad people can't be the same.


Alex93andme said...

That is a wonderful story! Dogs don't seem to mind that they are "different"..they just keep going on and on. It would be great if people could be like them. I know I would like to be more like my dog!

Name: Mr. Hendrix said...

what a beautiful story. it is so great when us kitties and woofies can make beans feel better. especially little beans. it goes to show, we furries have as much heart and will as any human.

PS we will totally be watching Hallmark Sunday night. mommy loves these sappy holiday movies...with tissues

Sam said...

That's amazing!

I'm sorry I haven't commented much lately, but I think I picked a good time to get back to the blogosphere! I love reading stories like this about underdawgs doing something great.

Khyra The Siberian Husky And Sometimes Her Mom said...

I've got some Golden Retriever Bloggin' Pals that SOOOOO know it's true!

Tank woo fur sharing!


Teddy Bear said...

What a pawesome story. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

Teddy Bear

Inigo Flufflebum and d'Artagnan Rumblepurr said...

Your blog brightens our day, thank you so much.

The Other End Of The Leash said...

Yes...this. On so many levels. Thank you for posting! :)

Ms. ~K said...

Wonderful story...can you see me smiling? Thanks for making my day!

Mochi and Mommy said...

This was an awesome story! Thank you for sharing it with us!


Dory and the Mama said...

What an awesome story!!

The Mama

The OP Pack said...

Another awesome story you have to share with us. That dog is an inspiration and kudos to those who helped her.

Happy Thanksgiving, the OP Pack

Sierra Rose said...

Hi ya pals!!!!!! First off HUGE HUGS and GREETINGS from us! A wonderful wonderful story here (as are all of your postings). And, fantastic that you kindly put my entry on your sidebar!
We are so thankful for all of our amazing friends such as you all!

Hugs and snaggle-tooth kisses,
Sierra Rose and mom and dad

Brownie said...

what an inspirational story!

Maty said...

Thanks for posting the PeoplePets story about Maty, the tri-pawed disc dog. The comments represent beautifully what it is all about, why we do what we do, and why Maty continues her life adventures. Follow Maty's adventures on TWITTER: @maty3leggeddog and become a Maty FACEBOOK fan at:http://www.facebook.com/pages/Maty-Ouchida/182711734790

Tweedles -- that's me said...

Thank you so much for taking the time to share this wonderful story with us. A very corageous dog!