New Legs for Pirate! Perfect Name, Perfect Solutions for an Aging 3-Legged Dog

Students at an Austin, Texas, high school are furthering their engineering education while helping to make an aging dog’s remaining years happier and healthier.

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When Bryant Meadors and Katrina Dvorcek adopted their dog, Pirate, about four years ago, he was sorely in need of a loving home.

“He was just kinda like the last guy on the left, really,” Meadors told reporters for KXAN. “He was laying in a little kennel by himself. He had just had his leg amputated.

Shelter staffers believed Pirate’s foot had been caught in a bear trap and a subsequent infection necessitated removal of the limb. He recovered, though, and in the light of a loving home has enjoyed liveliness and happiness ever since.

But now, Pirate is getting old. He’s starting to have health problems.

“So with the limb and the hip displacing like it is, as he’s getting older, that’s obviously causing a lot of pain, [it] makes it difficult for him to get around,” Meadors explained.

Theodore Moldenhauer, who teaches engineering at Connally High School, heard about Pirate’s condition. Now his students are creating mobility aids for Pirate during class time.

“[A] real project, something real with a dog especially… you know, they went kind of crazy. They wanted to just jump up and go to work right away,” Moldenhauer said.

The kids have been organized into three teams, each creating a unique option. Pirate will have three new ways of getting around, which will really help him on slick surfaces like tile.

The designs, all of which will employ the use of a 3D printer, are expected to be completed soon. Everyone involved looks forward to making Pirate’s remaining years happier and more comfortable.

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