The Three-Legged Dog

animal dog pet labrador
Photo by Tookapic on

Today at work, I noticed a beautiful chocolate lab trotting along outside my window. What caught my attention the most was that this particular doggo only had three legs, yet she (I am unsure of the sex but for the sake of argument let’s call this dog a she) seemed happy as a clam. Side-note: are clams really that happy…and why? Some food for thought. So, as I saw this dog I initially began feeling sorry for her. Although she was also incredibly cute the way she walked.

Later on this evening, while I lay in my bed attempting to meditate my thoughts circled back to the chocolate lab. She had three legs, not four. Yet she seemed completely oblivious that she was in any way hindered by this. It wasn’t an obstacle to her, it was just life. It didn’t stop her from going out on her walk with her owner and braving the streets where other dogs may see her. Unlike humans, she could care less about comparing her experience to that of other dogs. She wasn’t worried she would be judged at the dog park, nor was she worried if she could keep up with the other dogs. She was just walking along, the way she knew best, in her own time, own rhythm. Maybe she had once experienced part of her life with four legs, but now this was how her life was. Right now. This doggo doesn’t spend her days pinning about her dog days of yonder when she had all four paws. She’d already blissfully forgotten that was even a thing worth longing for. She has what she has and she does her best with that.

We human folk tend to live in an exhausting state of near-constant comparison. It surrounds us and swallows us whole. Social Media has amplified this tenfold. What cars do our friends drive, where did they vacation to this year? Why does their upper lip look cuter than ours when they smile? Maybe your acquaintances have more “followers” than you. Maybe your best friend has gorgeous hair. Maybe some person you met once has more stuffed animals than you. Whatever your fancy, someone out there has better and more of it than you. I promise you that. But the point is  – it seriously doesn’t fucking matter. Because I also promise you that someone out there has far less of it than you. We are all just here, floating somewhere in the middle. Even if you’re a multi-billionaire, maybe you don’t have love in your life, maybe you’ve never been able to show compassion or empathy. Those qualities are worth gold. Can we learn to be ok with being ourselves, somewhere in the middle, with the things we have that bring us joy? Can we cherish what we DO have and allow ourselves to actually drop down into gratitude a little more?

Animals have so much to teach us. If I learnt anything from this confident doggy it is this: Don’t let what could easily get you down stop you from going out for a walk. We ALL have so much to be grateful for. Find the other dogs that will run with you and believe you have four strong legs (if you’re a dog that is – humans you only get two if you’re lucky) If you haven’t found them yet, then be your own pack. Others will be drawn to your confident stride. Woof!

photo of a puppy
Photo by Laura Stanley on


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