A dog with only three legs is learning to walk again on all four thanks to a creation by a senior at Eaglecrest High School in Centennial.
In October, John McLaughlin began creating a prosthetic leg for Macie—an adorable 7-year-old Australian Shepherd.
Six years ago, Macie got caught in a fence and paralyzed her front right leg. After three months of trying to repair the limb, doctors had to amputate it.
Despite the loss of a limb, Macie’s owner Tammy Ormiston said Macie adapted well to walking, running and competing on three legs. Though, over the past year, Macie has shown signs of arthritis in her hips and back legs.
McLaughlin heard about Macie’s challenges and wanted to help. After months of mock-ups and construction, on Wednesday, Macie tried on her new leg.
“We are hoping the prosthetic will help alleviate some of her pain,” Ormiston said. “I am so grateful for the help of John and support of the community for making this happen.”
McLaughlin—a science and technology student at Eaglecrest High- said he went to bed every night for months just hoping it would work.
“Literally every night I worried about it,” McLaughlin said. “After a few adjustments, it’s fitting her beautifully and it’s already correcting some of her steps.”
Ormiston said she plans to help Macie practice with her new prosthesis for 15 minute increments a few times a day.
“At some point, she will need a roller to help her get around but for now, we are really excited about this," she said.
McLaughlin graduates from Eaglecrest High school on May 27 and plans to attend the Community College of Aurora.
He said he plans to help make necessary adjustments and check-in on his new buddy even after graduation.