Everyone needs a friend during tough times, and for 15-year-old Luke from Kent, England, his friend was the most special of all.
Luke has psoriasis, a condition that millions of people around the world manage – but it resulted in him being targeted by cruel bullies at school.
Luke is from a family of animal-lovers, and over the years they had built up quite the brood – including a Jack Russell, two cats, and two French Lop rabbits. But they weren’t done yet, and when Luke fell in love with one particular dog that he’d spotted online, his family knew that they’d have to take her in.
The Labrador-mix pup was only eight weeks old, and she was being sold by a breeder in Essex.
She was more affordable than the rest of the litter – as she had been born with a genetic deformity.
The puppy had a total of six legs – but Luke didn’t see why that would make her any less deserving of a loving home, and his mom agreed. The Salmon family took a trip up to visit the pup, who apparently came “bounding out” of her pen as soon as she spotted Luke.
It was clear that this puppy was meant to belong to him.
The family named the puppy “Roo” and took her home with them in the summer of 2019. She was a shining light in everyone’s life – especially Luke’s. He knew all about what it was like to be born with a condition that makes you different, and the pair soon developed a special bond.
“It was love at first sight for Luke and for Roo from then on,” Luke’s mom told SWNS. “Luke is like a protective father. They never leave each other’s sides and she even sleeps in his bed.”
Roo has fitted perfectly in the family, and she gets on with all the other pets as well as Luke’s three siblings.
“We absolutely love Roo to pieces. She’s is just a normal dog to us, just with a couple of extra bits. Her special legs don’t cause her any pain, and it’s easy to see just how full of life she is,” Salmon said. “She’s full of puppy energy, so we’d describe her as placid but playful.”
It’s not often that you see a dog with six legs, and the Salmon family believes that humans don’t usually give puppies born with a birth defect a chance.
“There are not many dogs like Roo out there. I think the breeders kill them off because they’re not worth anything, but to us she’s priceless.”
Roo’s adorable life is showcased on her very own Facebook page, and as well as featuring in the stories of many UK newspapers, she’s gained followers from all over the world.
“I think Roo will reduce Luke’s stress and that should help his skin,” Salmon said.
Naturally, Roo has some mobility issues- but for now, they’re easily managed.
The family became concerned for Roo’s mobility as she grows up, and contacted a number of different veterinary centers, including The Supervet, Dr. Noel Fitzpatrick, to see if she can be helped in any way.
Vets confirmed that at the minute Roo is too young to be given any help, but they can look into more options in the future.
“When she walks, she sort of staggers on her elbows with her bum in the air, like an army crawl,” Salmon said. ” It’s sad but it’s cute at the same time because she is so full of energy.”
Roo needs to be at least a year old before she can go down the surgery route.
In December of 2019, the family created a GoFundMe page that explained that Roo was a candidate for surgery on one of her extra limbs and that it was scheduled to take place in January of 2020. But within the current circumstances, it’s unclear if the op was able to go ahead.
We wish Roo all the best for the future!
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