July 23, 2014

Elyria
Showers
73°F
test

Black Lab Breeze down to two legs, but not out

Breeze is just like any other black Labrador, she’s energetic, and enjoys playing with people and other dogs.

Breeze, a black Labrador retriever who was born without two front legs, jumps on her hind legs Tuesday at St. Francis Animal Sanctuary in Vermilion. (CT photo by Steve Manheim.)

Breeze, a black Labrador retriever who was born without two front legs, jumps on her hind legs Tuesday at St. Francis Animal Sanctuary in Vermilion. (CT photo by Steve Manheim.)

The one thing that sets her apart is that she was born without her two front legs.

In place of her legs, Breeze has two paws on the front of her chest.

Click here to view more photos.

Breeze was brought to Deborah Parker, the director of St. Francis Animal Sanctuary in Vermilion, in February.

“She is such a special dog,” Parker said. “She is so much fun and well-behaved.”

Parker takes in all kinds of animals that people simply no longer want because of age or illness.

Parker said that Breeze in particular touched her heart because she was born without her two front legs and struggled on a daily basis just to get around.
“I knew that I wanted to help Breeze,” Parker said. “I knew that there had to be something I could do to help her.”

Frank Krupka, the sanctuary’s veterinarian, examined Breeze when she was first brought in and discovered that the stump on the front left of the chest was filled with fluid.

“Breeze hops on her two hind legs to get around,” Krupka said. “She often falls or scraps her stumps on the concrete.”

Parker decided to contact Bill Leimkuehler, owner of Leimkeuhler Inc., which provides prosthetic and orthotic care.

Leimkuehler is in the beginning stages of creating a prosthetic support for Breeze, who is wearing a foam pad that covers the stumps.

“We just put the foam pad on Breeze,” Leimkuehler said. “We are waiting to see how she adjusts to that.”

St. Francis Animal Sanctuary is a non-profit organization and subsists on donations and grant money.

Donations can be made at www.saintfrancisanimalsanctuary.org or mailed to 12516 Cherry Road, Vermilion, OH 44089.