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Prosthetic Legs, Paws Giving Ryder The Dog New 'Leash' On Life

MIAMI (CBSMiami) - When we first met Ryder, he was having trouble walking.

The one-year-old German Shepard rescue is missing part of his hind legs and his rear paws. Then, his life changed.

Ryder was fit with custom-made prosthetic legs and paws and he had to learn to walk again.

At the beginning of his journey when he first walked with prosthetics it was not easy. But as time went on, and with a few adjustments, he's mastering his prosthetics pretty well.

Hydrotherapy and hard work are paying off. Dr. Marta Sanchez-Emden from the Animal Health and Rehab Center in South Miami is leading his therapy.

"All his life, he walked like a kangaroo, with the stumps jumping at the same time. So we want to teach him, number one, that he can walk with his spine horizontally instead of down, like before, and that he can use one leg and then the other, like a normal gate," Dr. Sanchez-Emden said.

She said with the progress Ryder is making, he can look forward to a happy, healthy, life.

"Will he ever be able to run?" asked CBS 4's Ted Scouten.

"Oh yes," said Dr. Sanchez-Emden. "He should be able to run, to jump, to go boating if he wants to, he will be able to do whatever he wants."

Sofia Valverde runs Picolini's Animal Rescue in Coconut Grove.

"He's just full of life, a happy dog. He never really thought he was different from the other German Shepards he was with," Valverde said.

Her group rescued Ryder. She's amazed at his progress.

"He finished with his water therapy, so now he can play more without getting tired. Before he would run a little bit, or try to run, and would just have to lie down because of his back or his legs would hurt," she said.

Valverde said there's a lot we can all learn from a dog like Ryder.

"He just accepted himself and thought he was the same and he is, he's perfect, he's absolutely perfect as he is. And just his love of life, reminding you what matters is to be happy and kind to others," she said.

Now that Ryder has his prosthetic legs and is doing pretty well with walking and in his therapy it's time for him to get a 'furever' home.

Click Here for more information or you can call (786) 308-9031.

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