Posted 05-12-2004 at 19:19:08
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This is the picture I E-Mailed Cini earlier. The Enternet so stuborn would not allow me to post picture alone. So here follows the copy:
ANN ARBOR — The 6-year-old patient has two new legs and can walk, run, sit and frolic.
After Helen DePinto of Washtenaw County's Webster Township spotted Footsie the handicapped shepherd mix on CNN six years ago, she went to Buffalo, N.Y, and adopted him. Missing the lower halves of his hind paws, f ootsie used to have to tuck his two back legs under his backside and scoot with his front paws.
Now he has artificial legs, thanks to an Ann Arbor prosthetist and orthonst who tackled the project of creating tegs for the dog.
In more than 30 years of combined experience with humans, Steve Hoover and Kenneth Woodard said this was the first time they worked with an animal. They work in the Ann Arbor office of Whght and Filippis. a Michigan-based rehabilitative health care company.
"It wasn't easy," Woodard told The Ann Arbor News for a recent story.
Using a process called vacuum-form-ing, tney snaped a layer of foam and a layer of plastic over the mold, then added a hard, black shell with tread material on the bottom to give Footsie a grip. The shell LS fastened to the dog with a Velcro strap.
"Footsie tned them on when they were done, and it was a home run," DePinto said.
Hoover got involved in the prothesis project after getting a call from Brad Pearsall, a physical therapist assistant at Rainbow Rehabilitation Centers, a brain injury center in Ypsilanti.
DePinto and Footsie have been visiting clients there for nearly three years because Footsie works as a certified therapy dog.
"Footsie plays a motivational role here," Pearsall said. "Footsie's disabled, yet he plays with the clients, he's happy, upbeat and a very well-mannered dog. It's like he says, 'If I can get out and function like (dogs with all four paws), then you can be a functional member of society.' "
"Footsie plays a motivational role (at Rainbow Rehabilitation Centers). Footsie's disabled, yet he plays with the clients, he's happy, upbeat...."
— Brad Pearsall, a physical therapist assistant