Naki’o's life started out with very little hope. He and his litter mates were found in the cellar of an abandoned home in the middle of a harsh Nebraska winter. Their mother hadn’t survived. Naki’o was stuck, frozen into a puddle. Due to the frostbite, Naki’o lost all of his toes, the tip of his tail, part of his nose and ears. One of the back legs was particularly damaged.
Christie Pace, a veterinarian’s assistant, has always had a soft spot in her heart for animals and was looking to adopt a fur baby. When she saw Naki’o's story on PetFinder, she set up an appointment to meet him. She adopted him at 8 weeks. As a four-pound puppy, he could get around on his leg nubs fairly well, but as he grew, Christie knew he was going to need assistance.
They tried various wagons and strollers to help him get out more, but it wasn’t until Christie saw a dog in a knee brace at her clinic that she got the idea for prosthetics for Nakio’s rear legs. She did some research and contacted Ortho Pets, a Denver company that specializes in pet prosthetics. She raised the money for the first of the artificial limbs, and when the people at Ortho Pets saw how well he was doing, they donated the rest.
“When we saw how good he was doing with his back leg prosthetics and how he was struggling to use his front legs it was very simple to say, ‘we gotta keep with him.’ He could do much better with all four prosthetics on,” said Martin Kaufmann, owner of Ortho Pets.
As seen in the following video, Naki’o is thriving as a bionic dog!
Christie knew Naki’o was special from the beginning, but she didn’t realize her dog was the world’s first to have four prosthetic legs. She and Naki’o are now sharing their story to inspire others and to promote the adoption and care of disABLED cats and dogs.
Photo courtesy of Nakio’s Facebook page.