Skip to content

A Three-Legged Dog

I hope you have a sense of humor. If you don’t, then you won’t fully appreciate the story that I’m sharing here, and, sadly, you won’t fully appreciate your own existence. Sometimes we take ourselves far too seriously.

The story is told by Derek Wilkinson, my dad’s former colleague and current Facebook friend. Knowing Derek, my dad is quite certain that the conversation below occurred just as Derek wrote it. (I changed the store name to simply “store” to protect the innocent, hee hee.) Before you read the exchange, remember that I use a wheelchair, having never been able to walk. I’ve heard many a child ask an embarrassed parent upon first seeing me, “What’s wrong with her?” This is a question that I have never minded and have in fact gladly answered, even making a video about it. This doesn’t mean, however, that I haven’t sometimes questioned the question itself.

I have a different perspective on life than most people do and I would like to flip other’s normal thinking about things on its head. That’s what I see Derek doing here. Many people may read the following interaction between two people and see a not-too-sharp questioner getting the ridiculous answers that he deserves, maybe even Derek sees it that way. But what I see is the power of love, a funny man challenging our assumptions while delighting in the oddities of life.

What I see is the wonder of a three-legged dog.

Derek and Dixie

So I had to go to the store to pick up dog food and figured that I’d take Dixie along for the ride.

I walk in and the cashiers start in about how sad it is that the poor dog has three legs. I go to the pickup desk and the desk clerk walks up and starts with me.

Store guy: “What’s wrong with your dog?”

Me: I look down at Dixie and then back at him and reply, “Nothing, she seems just fine to me.”


Store guy: “Why does your dog only have three legs?”

Me: “Well, I’m the typical guy and didn’t read the instructions when I put her together. I didn’t realize until afterwards that I was missing a few parts.”

Store guy: bewildered look and awkward silence.

Me: “She was born with a partially formed paw so we had the leg removed shortly after she was born.”


Store guy: “Why not just remove the paw instead of the whole leg?”

Me: “Because three legged dogs are cool.”

Store guy: bewildered stare and awkward silence.


Store guy: “Was it hard to teach him to walk?”

Me: “We tried to teach her to hover first but were unsuccessful. We then tried to teach her to fly, but that didn’t work out either, so we settled on walking.”

Store guy: bewildered look and awkward silence.


Store guy: “I feel bad that your dog is crippled. How hard is it to walk?”

Me: “She’s not crippled at all, she gets around just fine and does it with one more leg than you use.”

Store guy: bewildered look and awkward silence.


Store guy: “What kind of dog is he?”

Me: “She’s a husky.”

Store guy: “Is he slow?”

Me: “Want to race her across the store? I bet she can make it to the other side and back before you get to the end of the isle.”

Store guy: looks bewildered, awkward silence.


Me: “Dixie is a female by the way, not a male.”

Store guy: “Sorry, I couldn’t tell.”

Me: “No worries, have a great day!”


Photo and story credit: Derek Wilkinson (used with permission).

All the rest © 2019 Christina Chase

Christina Chase View All

Although crippled by disease, I'm fully alive in love. I write about the terrible beauty and sacred wonder of life, while living with physical disability and severe dependency. A revert to the Catholic faith through atheism, I'm not afraid to ask life's big questions. I explore what it means to be fully human through my weekly blog and have written a book: It's Good to Be Here, published by Sophia Institute Press.

One thought on “A Three-Legged Dog Leave a comment

  1. We used to know a 3 legged dog that lived in a pub. He was all too capable of getting around and jumping on the benches to investigate humans’ potato chips, or even beer. The landlord had to pour a few free pints over the years!

    I love Derek’s story, thank him please!


    Liked by 3 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: