dog rescue

Veteran Who Lost His Leg In Iraq Adopts 3-Legged Dog: ‘It’s Impossible To Not Smile Around Him’

by Kelly Glass
Kelly Glass is a writer whose work focuses on the intersections of parenting, health, and pop culture. She lives in an Illinois college town with her educator husband, wildly ambitious sons, dog, and several fish. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, Romper,, HelloGiggles,, What to Expect, and more.

Joshua Ferguson found his new best friend when he adopted Scooter, a three-legged dog who had been rescued in Tennessee.

Joshua, a military veteran who lost his leg during an explosion in the Gulf War in Iraq, adopted the dog from the Humane Society of Dickson County in Dickson, Tennessee. The pup, he said, brings a smile to his face.

“It’s impossible to not smile around him,” Joshua said. “Everybody’s so happy to see him, then they notice he’s got three legs. … He’s happy you were overjoyed to see him. Don’t pity him!”

Scooter was found near a creek in the woods with a severely injured leg.

Veterinarians believe the dog’s leg got stuck somehow, causing the injury. They had to amputate the badly severed leg.

Joshua lost his own leg when he and four other soldiers were in a truck that drove over an improvised explosive device. Although he ended up losing his leg in the explosion, Joshua remains grateful that none of them lost their lives that day.

“There’s silver linings to anything,” Joshua said. “You can find something. And even if you can’t, somebody’s had it worse, so just stop complaining.”

Now the two bond by playing around, doing yoga, and exploring the park. Most importantly, Scooter keeps Joshua’s hopes up when times get tough. “He makes it easier for me to remember that, hey, it’s still a beautiful day,” Ferguson said. “You realize really just how tremendous a journey life is.”

Watch the clip to see why this three-legged dog is more than just this man’s best friend.

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