Mulligan the golden retriever isn't just a lovable Southern pup. This extraordinary Alabama dog was faced with cancer, resulting in the loss of one of his legs. "He was diagnosed with synovial cell carcinoma cancer," says Mulligan's mom, Casey Schaffer, "so they amputated his entire rear right leg."
Since then, Mulligan's had five rounds of chemo. Through this process, his golden retriever brother, Bogey, would lay with Mulligan to comfort him. "He just knew he had to be there," said Casey.
Following his operation, Casey started to hear Mulligan yelping when he would lay down. Worried that something was wrong, she called Mulligan's doctor to check. The conclusion? Mulligan just wanted some cuddles. "He's not in any pain," said the doctor. "He's just playing y'all, because every time he starts this yelping you guys come to him and love on him."
Mulligan's disability hasn't stopped him from playing with and sharing his joy with others. "Once he started doing so much better and thriving, we decided that it would be really good to try and find some way to bring good out of such a scary situation," said Casey. "I want him to touch as many people as possible."
Now, Mulligan's on the road to becoming a therapy dog to help out kids with cancer, veterans – and anyone else who needs a little extra love. He recently passed his first therapy dog test with Hand In Paw.
Casey's conclusion? "He didn't need that leg anyway."