The adorable two-legged dog from the Ribble Valley
PUBLISHED: 00:00 20 February 2017
Toby Two Shoes doesn't let the small matter of missing both back legs stop him from enjoying life, writes Emily Rothery.
Toby, a plucky little terrier cross, has no back legs but it doesn’t get him down. He has a nifty set of wheels and when he goes out for walkies with his pals there’s no holding him back.
‘He came into our lives by accident really, but we love him,’ says Poppy Maney. ‘We first saw Toby on Facebook. He was living in a local rescue centre and was quite an attraction because of his little wheels. He had three legs at that time, having had one back leg amputated. His remaining back leg was redundant so we offered him free rehabilitation to try and get the limb moving.’
Poppy and her husband, Steve, own Canine Health and Hydro and Groom School in the Ribble Valley. ‘Steve did a lot of treadmill work with him on the water and dry treadmill. He was in the pool a lot which he absolutely loved and, because we wanted him to do intensive rehabilitation, we said he could stay with us while he was doing it.’
Three years on and Toby is still with the Maney family, living happily with the couple, their two children and two other dogs just outside the village of Rimington.
‘At first he stayed with us for three or four months and we managed to get some movement in his remaining back limb but the leg was obviously aggravating him, he would try to bite it and wasn’t sleeping well. Poor Toby also got frustrated as he wanted to go out with our other dogs but couldn’t keep up with them so a year later we sought the advice of vets.
‘Funds were raised by some of our clients and we received a donation from the Pennine Animal Welfare Society to enable Toby to see TV’s Supervet, Noel Fitzpatrick, but nothing more could be done for him. We carried on with rehabilitation but eventually, on the advice of vets, we had the damaged limb removed.
‘Toby now just has his two little front legs but has been so much better since then – he sleeps well and is much more settled.’
The feisty little terrier has learned to counter balance on his two front legs and only wears his wheels for walks. ‘Around home when the wheels are off, his little back end comes up and he does a kind of handstand,’ smiles Poppy.
Toby, affectionately known as Toby Two Shoes, rubs along well with the family’s other dogs, Ruby, a miniature wire-haired dachshund, and Bertie, a Lancashire Heeler-Manchester terrier cross, and wheels along effortlessly alongside when they are out on walks together.
‘He doesn’t even have to try to keep up. We’re lucky in that we have plenty of room to walk them on our own land but we also like to walk in Gisburn Forest where Toby attracts a lot of attention. He’s also very vocal when we are out walking!’
It seems that what Toby lacks in stature he makes up for in personality. ‘He loves to follow Bertie around and is fabulous with our kids, Daisy, who is five and Stanley, two. He’s very affectionate and protective of them and great with our family members but he’s not overly keen on tradesmen. We think that he’s compensating for the things that he’s been through.
‘He does require individual care and we always need to make sure that his wheels are clean and running freely. When we go away on holiday the lady who fostered him before we took him in takes care of him so we know that he is well cared for and his needs are met.’
Toby’s contentment is clear to see. On the day that I visit, the children were playing happily while Toby dashed enthusiastically around the garden with Bertie. The two crafty canines take advantage while we are distracted taking photographs and quickly snaffle the picnic set out on the lawn. No one seems to mind though – Toby, once a troubled rescue dog, has found himself a loving family and a truly good life.