As with many modern-day love stories, Jessica Majeski originally found Tegan, her three-legged dog, through social media.
A friend of Majeski’s volunteered at a local shelter and posted a picture of Tegan on Facebook. Although Majeski and her boyfriend were considering getting a dog, they weren’t seriously looking – until they saw Tegan.
“I’m not sure what exactly it was, but seeing that first picture of her and hearing about her story … it was definitely ‘right time, right dog,’” says Majeski.
Taking Tegan Home
After reading about Tegan, Majeski knew they had to meet her, and asked her friend to put in a good word for them as the scheduled a meet and greet. At the time, Tegan was between two and three months old and was being fostered by Second Chance Pet Adoptions in Raleigh, North Carolina after being dramatically saved from euthanization.
“Tegan was found by a county animal shelter with her leg broken in three places,” says Majeski. “The shelter couldn’t amputate her leg, so she was scheduled to be euthanized. [Second Chance Pet Adoptions] came in and rescued her on the last day before she would’ve been put down.”
Second Chance then paid for her leg amputation surgery and spay before putting her up for adoption.
“We knew immediately that she was the right dog for us—I think you just feel it,” says Majeski. “She was so sweet and energetic and loved to give kisses. We were super nervous that the rescue group wouldn’t pick us, but luckily we saw her before she was ever listed on their website.”
Her first week at home, Tegan was supposed to take it easy since she was still recovering from her amputation, but Tegan had other ideas. All she wanted to do was run, jump, and play.
“We were still pretty careful with her since owning a ‘tripawd’ was new to us and we didn’t want to hurt her or hinder her healing process, but this girl has ENERGY,” says Majeski. “We monitored her incision and took her back to the shelter for a check up, but everything looked good!”
Life on Three Legs
Despite their initial concerns, Majeski says living with a three-legged dog isn’t all that different from living with a four-legged one.
“Because her accident happened when she was so young, she doesn’t have too many limitations; she’s so fast and loves to run,” says Majeski. “The only time she has trouble is when climbing into bed or the car, but even then she still does a good job.”
And while Tegan doesn’t seem to have any fears anymore, that wasn’t the case the case early on.
“When we first got her, she was scared of getting into the car, which is why we think she may have been in a car accident,” says Majeski.
With patience and time, that fear disappeared and now Tegan enjoys going anywhere, anytime. As for fitting in with the family, Tegan has had no issues, although introducing her to the couple’s resident cats took some time.
“When we were finally ready to introduce them, we brought them out into the living room inside of their carrying cages and let her sniff and see them but still couldn’t touch them,” says Majeski. “At first, she growled at them and seemed kind of confused, but it didn’t take long for everyone to coexist (mostly) peacefully. Now one of our cats and her love to play and snuggle all the time.”
In addition to sharing a home with her fur-siblings, Tegan is also skilled at fetch, tug-o-war, and sleeping, Majeski says.
“Tegan is the light of our lives; she is goofy and sweet and loves to snuggle,” she says. “She is also a big kiss-giver. She will lick you all day if she can.”
Images via: Jessica Majeski
Diana Bocco is a full-time writer and adventurer, whose work has been published in DiscoveryChannel.com, Yahoo!, & Popular Mechanics.