During their weekly visits to a Philadelphia-area rehab hospital, 2-Legged Dogs Cyrus, Lucky, and Deuce show what’s possible.
Domenick Scudera visits the Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital almost every week. He’s done so since 2010, bringing along one of his three dogs, each of whom is a therapy dog.
Animal-assisted therapy is nothing new, but the hospital is home to the Amputee Treatment and Rehabilitation Program—and each of Scudera’s dogs only has two legs. With Scudera’s help, Cyrus, Lucky, and Deuce have lived fun, loving lives, showing what’s possible to the humans they visit.
“It’s wonderful, and it’s almost always the same,” Scudera tells Daily Paws. “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.”
2-Legged Dogs provide comfort
Like some of the patients they visit, Lucky, with only front legs, and Deuce, who only has legs on his right side, endured horrific accidents that led to invasive surgeries. (Cyrus, the trio’s elder statesman, has only back legs.) Years later, they’re providing comfort and inspiration.
Kathleen Liebsch, an occupational therapist at Bryn Mawr, once witnessed Deuce visit her patient who’d lost a leg and an arm on the same side. He identified with the small brown dog who walks unassisted without legs on his left side.
“I’m working towards that, too,” he told Liebsch.
“It was pretty inspiring,” she remembers.
The Trio of 2-Legged Dogs
About 12 years ago, Scudera, a theater professor at Ursinus College outside Philadelphia, owned Festus, a three-legged dog. He was also a therapy dog, visiting patients at Bryn Mawr and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
As Festus aged, Scudera began looking for another dog. This pup would also be trained as a therapy dog, and Scudera was searching for one who didn’t have four legs because he knew how much it meant to patients to see disabled dogs living healthy lives.
He saw scruffy Cyrus online after the small terrier mix had been abandoned at an animal shelter. Soon, Scudera flew to California to adopt the little guy.
Now Scudera is easily identified as the foremost two-legged dog dad. Lucky, who’s roughly 8, came from Egypt. A local named Marwa Elgebaly found him on a Cairo street after he was likely hit by a car. Deuce, about 5, was found in a Kentucky ditch with his left legs broken and infected. (X-rays revealed shrapnel, so he may have been shot, though Scudera will never know the true cause of his injuries.)
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