MALVERN, PHILADELPHIA—Cyrus, Lucky, and Deuce are dogs on a mission: inspire the patients of Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital in Philadelphia to get back on their feet once more and live how they used to.
See, these patients are humans trying to learn to live their lives with amputations. And the trio? They are therapy dogs with only two working legs each.
They are the best buds of theater professor and dog lover Domenick Scudera, who found each of them in different locations and different unfortunate situations.
Scudera had the trio trained to be therapy dogs to provide comfort and inspiration to those who needed them.
They're part of the animal-assisted therapy program at Bryn Mawr.
“It's wonderful, and it's almost always the same,” Scudera said in an interview. “People will say the same thing. They'll say, ‘If he can do it, I can do it.' They say that to me all the time.”
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The first of the three he adopted was Cyrus, a small terrier mix who had been abandoned at an animal shelter in California. His two front paws are paralyzed; only his back legs are working.
Lucky was brought over to the US all the way from Egypt. He was found straying on a Cairo street after likely getting hit by a car.
Deuce, on the other hand, was found in Texas, abandoned in a ditch with both his left arm and leg broken and infected. They suspected that he was shot when an X-ray result showed shrapnel still lodged in his legs.
Since 2010, Scudera has been visiting Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital with his late 3-legged dog Festus, who passed away due to old age.
He decided to continue his and Festus' mission through Cyrus, Lucky, and Deuce, who happily fulfilled their duties with only six working legs among them.
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Occupational therapist Kathleen Liebsch said it is inspiring to see these dogs interact with the patients.
“Dogs are just full of happiness,” she says in an interview with Daily Paws. “That might be the highlight of their day.”
She also once witnessed how one patient who'd lost a leg and arm on the same side identified with Deuce. The patient told Liebsch how he was trying to be like Deuce.
“It was pretty inspiring,” Liebsch remembers.
Besides their therapy work, Scudera hopes to spread the trio's inspirational message to online followers by sharing their stories and photos on their Instagram account, @2legdogs.
Cyrus, Lucky, and Deuce just showed how the world can be a beautiful place again for people (and animals) who make the most of their situation as they are given a second chance at life.
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