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Tuesday 16 January 2018

Elliot takes the snow in his stride

Fiona McGarry

FORGET snow ploughs and gritters, six-year-old Elliott has been taking the atrocious weather conditions in his stride.

For the past few days it's been a dog's life for the three-legged Labrador cross-breed as he has been out and about in the icy conditions -- even taking a chilly dip in the local river.

"I don't think he realises at all that he only has three legs," his owner Nick Skehan from Milltown, Co Galway, said. "He's just as active and happy today as he always was."

Abandoned as a pup and rescued by Mayo SPCA, Elliot was given to Nick as a 30th birthday present. But two years ago one of his legs had to be amputated after he was struck by a car.

"Amputation of a front leg isn't necessarily a great option for a Labrador," said Tuam vet Cian Lynch.

"Around 60pc of the dog's weight is supported by the front legs, but Nick and (wife) Liz have made a real effort to give him a great quality of life, and his mobility is excellent now."

"He used to love going out on the water with me," said Nick. "I did a bit of research and bought a life-jacket that's specially adapted for tri-pawed dogs."

Elliott also wears a customised harness that allows his owners to get him out of sticky situations.

Irish Independent

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