When Remmy, an Australian Cattle Dog mix, was found as a stray, he had a severe leg fracture. The injury was bad enough to require amputation. When his adopter, Brianna Kuna, saw a photo of Remmy, she…
When Remmy, an Australian Cattle Dog mix, was found as a stray, he had a severe leg fracture. The injury was bad enough to require amputation. When his adopter, Brianna Kuna, saw a photo of Remmy, she knew she and her husband, Jacob, were going to adopt him. “When we first adopted, we didn’t have any expectations,”
Brianna said. “We never thought he’d be an outdoor adventure dog!”
That was in mid-2014, when the Arizona Humane Society estimated Remmy was about two years old. Remmy is now almost six and has pulled off some amazing feats. “His biggest accomplishment was hiking up to Flatiron Summit in the Superstition Mountains,” Brianna told PDM. This roundtrip hike is about six miles and gains 3,000 feet in elevation. “It’s a butt kicker, and some sections we had to help him up with his harness.”
Brianna and Jacob had done the hike before and almost left Remmy behind because the hike is so challenging. Fortunately, they were venturing out with friends, and had a big group of people that could help lift him where the trail involved some rock climbing. Plus, they weren’t pressed for time and could take breaks, Brianna explained. To our surprise “he just kept going and going.”
The couple watches Remmy’s energy level and they make sure he gets plenty of breaks while they’re outdoors, especially because he‘s a tripod dog. Additionally, Brianna has taught Remmy a lot of tricks to keep him fit and limber, and to increase his body awareness. To date, he can give a high-five, sit pretty—both challenging because he has to shift his weight off his one front paw—play dead, wave, take a bow, and all the usual commands: down, sit, and come.
In addition to being a hiking enthusiast, Remmy enjoys kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding.
“He takes to it like any other dogs. He has a good sense of body awareness and space awareness and he adjusts really well,” as Brianna describes it. Initially, Remmy was not a fan of swimming because he is mostly muscle, which is less buoyant, so Brianna makes sure he always wears a life vest. This allows Remmy to be more comfortable in water, enabling him to exert less energy and to go for longer periods of time.
And, as if that’s not enough, Remmy and Brianna took up recreational barn hunt. “It’s a really good sport for tripods to compete in,” Brianna enthused. Where agility can have too high an impact on a dog’s joints, barn hunt is a sport that works well for disabled dogs like Remmy.” His physical capabilities and his mental prowess constantly blow me away with everything he can do. It’s a pure testament to not letting life’s challenges get you down!”
When asked about adopting a disabled dog, Brianna described to PDM how she has found the experience both incredibly rewarding and somewhat stressful. “The best part is how much he inspires everyone he meets,” she said. “He greets everyone with a smile and a bounce in his step. He’s met so many people who are amazed by him, and that his difficult past has never affected his spirit. He shreds the poor dog persona and shows people that he is capable of many things.”
In the back of her mind, Brianna worries that Remy might trip or sustain an injury to another limb, which in turn causes worry about potential veterinarian bills and the time it would take Remmy to recover and heal if he were to hurt one of his remaining three legs. “I try not to let that get in the way of him living and enjoying the good health he has now. One day his hiking days will be limited.” To plan for such a time, Brianna and Jacob already have a trailer that can be pulled behind their bicycles so that Remmy will still be with them on their adventures.
Remmy has an active Instagram account, remdawg.the.tripawd, where his adventures are chronicled. He has been identified as a Trailblazer for the website Camping with Dogs, which features blogs about traveling with a “tripawd”.
(https://campingwithdogs.com/blogs/news/travels with-atripawd-1) and teaching your dog to pose for photos (https://campingwithdogs.com/blogs/news/teach-your-dog to-pose-likethe-majestic-beast-they-are)