Dog News

Scout’s Journey to Happiness

by Katherine

Life With Dogs is reader-supported. We may earn a small commission through products purchased using links on this page.


Lynne and Bruce Allen live in Somerville, Mass., with their two young daughters, Isabella (8) and Lucinda (5). Since 2011 the Allen family had been looking to adopt a pet, but because of their hectic schedules and the girls being too young and active (back then) to welcome a four-legged friend, the Allen family delayed their dream of becoming pet owners until 2013.

“We were not in a position to adopt a dog at the time, with two little ones, but I promised [Lucinda] that when we did decide it was the right time for a dog we would look for one with special needs,” said Lynne.

Scout. Photo Credit: Lynne Allen
Scout. Photo Credit: Lynne Allen


Young Lucinda never forgot those words and she would always pay close attention to online adoption sites, looking for her future four-legged best friend.

Isabella and Lucinda with the "paws party" donations. Photo Credit: Lynne Allen
Isabella and Lucinda with the “paws party” donations. Photo Credit: Lynne Allen

Isabella decided that for her birthday party in 2012, instead of receiving gifts, she wanted to donate her presents to help others. She decided to have a “paws party” and asked all her friends to bring dog and cat toys the she would deliver to the local Animal Rescue League.

After the birthday party the family got serious about finding their family pet and connected with Pets with Disabilities.

“The girls and I started watching the site, excited to see who found a home,” said Lynne. “We became quite attached to one three legged dog there who found a forever home and the tears from the girls (Ok me too!), when ‘their dog’ was adopted were what clinched it.”

In April 2013 the Allen’s family search for a medium size, sweet-natured dog, about 2-years-old, and with 3 legs, became a goal to achieve. That’s when Scout, previously known as Bonnie, came into the Allens’ lives.

Scout had been rescued from Dekalb Animal Services in Ga., by Perfect Pets Rescue. This sweet dog had been abused by her original owner, luckily, her abusive owner was arrested and sent to jail.

Unfortunately the abuse left Scout with an injured leg fused at the elbow, and the only solution was to amputate her leg.

After the operation, Scout was transferred to New York and by chance the Allens learned about her online. They fell in love with her and drove 8 hours (376 miles) from Massachusetts to New York to adopt Scout.

The adoption was finalized on May 5, 2013, and since then Scout became the perfect three-legged member to join the Allen family.

“It was actually surprising how fast [Scout] settled in,” said Lynne. “Within hours she had curled up in bed with Luci and was right at home. My husband Bruce, has declared her THE.BEST.DOG.EVER and spoils her rotten. She has not 1, not 2 but 3 dog beds so that she can curl up comfortably anywhere in the house.”

Scout cuddling with Lucinda. Photo Credit: Lynne Allen
Scout cuddling with Lucinda. Photo Credit: Lynne Allen


Isabella spends hours reading to Scout who lies next to her seeming to absorb every word. Luci is her cuddle friend and they are often found curled up in either Luci’s bed or one of Scouts.

“I simply love her, she is everything we searched for and more, each day I marvel at how trusting and kind she is, how much energy and spunk she has and how she greets everyone with a kiss and a frantically wagging tail,” said Lynne. “Even after all she has been through, she reminds me each day that life is good and that anything can be accomplished or overcome.”

Having three legs has not stopped Scout from being a happy dog. Most of the time people don’t even realize Scout is missing a leg. She runs, plays, and even swims with no difficulty.

Bruce and Scout. Photo Credit: Lynne Allen
Bruce and Scout. Photo Credit: Lynne Allen


The Allens include Scout in all family outings, which range from mountain climbing, to canoeing and kayaking.

“Scout is an amazing pup who loves life and seems not even to notice that she has ‘only’ 3 legs,” said Lynne. “She has a wonderful life of dog park friends, adoring family and outdoor adventures. She is an amazing example of the best and worst of life and it is so heartening to see that the best won out.”