Tag Archives: Oscar Pistorius

‘Spokesdog’ for Disabilities to Be Fitted with Prosthetic Paw

Last year, the Atlanta-based service dog nonprofit organization, Canine Assistants, welcomed a litter of golden retrievers into the world. Most of the pups would grow up to be service dogs, but one pup would be sitting out of the training, a result of being born without his left hind paw. Instead, Pirelli has a hope-filled life as a spokesdog for disability awareness while awaiting his very own carbon-fiber prosthetic paw.

Canine Assistants Disabilities Spokesdog with Prosthetic Leg

According to veterinarian Dr. Kent Bruner, the injury was likely caused by the umbilical cord wrapping around the paw and cutting off blood flow to the limb before birth. Pirelli was fitted with a temporary prosthetic paw while he grew through the puppy stage.

Pirelli travels around Georgia, visiting schools as a “spokesdog” to spread a message of acceptance. He’s captured the hearts of many and has inspired kids who have physical and mental disabilities just by being himself.

Disabilities Spokesdog Pirelli Getting Oscar Pistorius Type Leg

With the help of Groupon, who offered to match up to $25,000 worth of fundraising done via the deal site, and fundraising efforts made online by Canine Assistants, Pirelli will be fitted with a state-of-the-art carbon-fiber paw, very similar to the one worn by elite runner and Olympian Oscar Pistorius, a double-amputee with prosthetic legs who competed successfully against able-bodied runners. Once Pirelli has reached full-size, his prosthetic paw will be put in place surgically by a team at North Carolina State University’s veterinary school.

Disabilities Spokesdog Pirelli Gets Carbon Fiber Prosthetic Paw

What is unique about Pirelli’s surgery is that the prosthetic will be implanted into the bone, meaning that there will be no need for straps or padding to secure the new paw. Once healed, the implant will be permanent, and the only thing that will be done in the future is occasional replacement of the retread paw as it wears down. The Hangar Clinic, which is the same company whose prosthetic work that inspired the movie Dolphin Tales, is constructing the prosthetic.

Disabilities Spokesdog Pirelli Geetting Carbon Fiber Prosthetic Leg

“Pirelli is just an exquisite example that life isn’t about how you get from place to place, or what you see or hear. It’s so much more than that,” said Jennifer Arnold, the founder of Canine Assistants. “Imagine the impact Pirelli will have on students when he enters the classroom and says in his own way, ‘Let’s redefine normal!’ ‘Forget the foot. Love me, I’m a dog!’ is a perfect example of how everyone should approach disabilities, and we are excited Pirelli will soon be helping us spread the word.”


Video source:

Image source:

Jonnie Peacock Unseats Oscar Pistorius as World’s Fastest Amputee

Nineteen-year-old Jonnie Peacock became the fastest amputee in the world with a record time of 10.90 seconds, taking the gold medal in the 100m at the 2012 London Paralympics.

Paralympic Gold Runners Oscar Pistorius and Jonnie Peacock

The crowd of over 80,000 people cheered on the British athlete as he took his mark. He put his finger to his mouth to silence them, so he and fellow athletes could concentrate on the race. Just seconds later a new Paralympic champion was born, and the crowd went wild once again.

Jonnie Peacock Paralympic Gold Medal Runner

Jonnie Peacock Paralympic Gold Medal Runner

He says, “The British crowd has made the Games come alive; they are absolutely amazing. They were chanting my name before the race started and that was unreal.” However, he adds, “I enjoyed it, but when it’s business time, we’re professional athletes, and you’ve got to be quiet for the set. I thought, I need to quiet them down. I didn’t want to put anyone (the other finalists) off. If you have to tell them to be quiet, you have to tell them to be quiet.”

Around the 60 meter point Peacock says, “I started to think, ‘Oh crap, I’m winning!'”

Jonnie Peacock Paralympic Gold Medal Runner

Jonnie Peacock Paralympic Gold Medal Runner

Jonnie Peacock Paralympic Gold Medal Runner

He has stolen the title from Oscar Pistorius. Peacock says he is still coming to terms of the magnitude of his achievement. In good sportsmanship, Pistorius ran straight over to Peacock to congratulate him on his win.

“When the results came up on the board, I just gave Oscar a big hug, and he said to me, ‘I told you you’d do it,” Peacock beams. “I’ve got so much respect for him; he is such a legend in Paralympic sport.”

Paralympian Gold Runners Oscar Pistorius and Jonnie Peacock Hug

Peacock had spent so much time preparing for the Games that he says he didn’t even feel nervous. He says, “I felt so prepared. Everything I had done all year was leading up to last night.”

Jonnie Peacock Paralympic Gold Medal Winner

Paralympian Jonnie Peacock Wins Gold Medal 100m

After all the excitement Peacock says, “I got three hours of sleep afterwards, and hopefully later I will have a bit of time to sit down and reflect on the race. I will go through how it went with my coach and have a sit down and a few beers.”


Image sources: