Finding a home for brave Benny will be easy, letting go will be the hard part

Benny being examined prior to his surgery.Benny arrived on our Canadian Thanksgiving as expected and was at the vet’s office the next day for a diagnosis on his leg. 

His leg seemed to be fine from the shoulder down to the ankle but it was there that his foot buckled under. 

From dragging his foot and using the overturned ankle for balance, there were deep sores on the top and the tips of the toes and one toenail, from nail bed outwards, no longer existed. 

No one wants to remove a dog’s leg unless it’s totally necessary and the people who had helped to get Benny down very much wanted everything to be fixable. 

As the vet explained, Benny had obviously had some sort of trauma to the inside of his front left leg, probably a run in with a car.  This had pushed his leg way out to the side, damaging the nerves that run through the armpit and down the leg. 

When tested, Benny had no feeling in his foot or up the leg – which is why he hadn’t felt any pain from the sores that resulted from dragging his foot. 

Benny recovering quietly under blankets.

Yes, he could lift his leg from the shoulder but the sores were a potential danger for infection and if infection were to get into the bone, it would be very serious. 

The decision was made to perform surgery to remove his leg.

I was lucky enough to be invited into surgery to assist. 

The two techs prepped Benny for the amputation plus his neuter which was to be done while he was under anesthetic. 

The neuter was done first and quickly and then I scrubbed in to help with the amputation.  They used to leave the shoulder blade to protect the organs but the surgery has changed and now the blade is removed as the rib cage is thought to provide enough protection.

The surgery took about two hours and Benny was removed to recover covered in blankets under a nice warming lamp. 

Benny is teaching us all about facing adversity with a positive attitude.  The next morning I received a picture of Benny up and walking around. 

He didn’t yelp or need any time to acclimatize to his new three legged status. 

Instead, he woke up wagging his tail and making everyone smile. 

It’s been four days since his surgery and he continues to amaze. 

Doctor’s orders call for rest and Benny is a very good patient, lying at my feet and following me around the house. 

He has never shown any signs of pain or bothered the incision site under the bandages and he’s never been grouchy.

Benny is teaching us all about facing adversity with a positive attitude. 

Finding a home for Benny will be easy…letting go will be the hard part.


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Cynthia Milburn, Director, Animal Welfare Outreach & Education
Senior Advisor, Policy Development
Jan Hannah, Campaign Manager, Northern Dogs Project
Campaign Manager, Northern Dogs Project
Kate Nattrass Atema, Program Director, Community Animal Welfare
Program Director, Community Animal Welfare
Shannon Walajtys
Manager, Animal Rescue-Disasters