Despite underdeveloped front legs, Roo has little problem standing tall and playing with Julie Horncastle, her human companion who is fostering the Iranian-born canine with the intention of adopting. Dustin Godfrey/Abbotsford News

VIDEO: Two-legged B.C. dog needs prosthetic leg

Roo jumps like a Kangaroo and sits like a human, but owners hope to help the Iranian-born dog

She sits like a human and hops like a kangaroo, but this Iranian-born fur-baby is all dog.

Roo is currently being fostered by Julie Horncastle, an Abbotsford woman who hopes to soon fully adopt the mid-sized dog with underdeveloped front legs.

Those front legs are the cause for her unusual mannerisms, but they don’t mean she can’t stand tall. Roo, whose age is unknown, can still get a move on when she needs to, with a partial front-right leg in the front she can lean on for some balance. And when Horncastle holds a basketball at shoulder level, Roo stands on her hind legs and reaches up to grab the deflated ball in her mouth.

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Even in the snow, Roo dashes around and uses her nose to dig into the cold, white stuff to find a hidden tennis ball.

“She’s got some great skills. She can jump up stairs,” Horncastle says, adding that after dropping off her husband Tuesday morning, she found just her senior dog, Shine, in the living room.

“I couldn’t find Roo, so I went to my bedroom and she had somehow jumped from my floor to my bed, which is about two-and-a-half feet, by herself.”

But Horncastle hopes to make things a little easier for Roo – they’re hoping to put a prosthetic on her front-right leg, which is her strong leg up front that she is still able to use, albeit somewhat clumsily.

“She can run pretty good with her three-quarter leg, there, but having the prosthetic, she’s just going to fly. She’s going to have a lot more freedom,” Horncastle said.

They have already amputated a little toe bone from her right leg in order to make it easier to get a prosthetic on Roo. They haven’t tested her front-left leg yet, which may not be strong enough to warrant a prosthetic.

The prosthetic would have a pole that would attach to Roo’s leg, with a makeshift foot in a sort of socket to enable some movement.

Altogether, the prosthetic is expected to cost up to $1,200, but through a GoFundMe campaign, Horncastle is hoping to raise about $3,000 altogether to pay for vet bills, amputation and prosthetic.

As of early Tuesday afternoon, her campaign had raised just over $1,200.

Horncastle came to find Roo through Loved At Last, a B.C.-based dog rescue organization that finds new homes for local and international dogs. She said they were looking to have a younger dog to keep Shine company.

“We were looking originally for a different dog. There was one called Grasshopper that had broken legs, so he sort of walked differently,” Horncastle said. “I put in [an application] to foster him and I got an email back saying, ‘Well, Grasshopper sort of has a tentative home; would you be interested in taking this dog Kangaroo?’ ”

Roo is a dog of unknown breed from Iran who is in need of a prosthetic leg to help her mobility due to underdeveloped front legs.
Dustin Godfrey/Abbotsford News

Roo is a dog of unknown breed from Iran who is in need of a prosthetic leg to help her mobility due to underdeveloped front legs.

Dustin Godfrey/Abbotsford News

Horncastle checked with her home and they agreed to adopt Roo, and retrieved her from the airport that week.

“She was a big celebrity right from the get-go. The couple that escorted the dogs from Iran to Vancouver said, ‘Oh, you have to keep in touch and let us know how she’s doing. She’s the sweetest thing,’ ” Horncastle said.

“She was the last one to come out of her crate at the airport … but as soon as she got out, she was a sweet, loving little thing.”

Roo was born on the streets of Tehran, Iran, and was found by someone who noticed her underdeveloped legs and who took her to a shelter.

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Dustin Godfrey | Reporter

@dustinrgodfrey

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