Meet adorable Roo, the five-month-old dog who jumps on her hind legs like a kangaroo.
The black and white puppy, supposedly a cross between a Colllie and a Whippet, was rescued when she was just a few weeks old from Craiova, Romania last year.
The dog is believed to have been born with one front leg missing and suffered the traumatic loss of the other soon after birth, possibly being ripped off by another animal.
By the time she was found animal charity group Safe Rescue For Dogs at the age of 16 weeks, Roo had already learned to hop and bounce around on her hind legs.
Nikki Dick, a 50-year-old nurse and her husband Ian Dick, a 52-year-old firefighter from Morpeth, Northumberland said they “fell in love” with the dog-kangaroo after adopting her last winter.
“Roo doesn’t know any different to hopping on her two back legs but she still laps up all the fuss from people who always stop and do a double take when they see her because they think she is a kangaroo,” Mrs Dick said.
“At first glance she really does look like a kangaroo and even stands up on her back legs and hops along too. She’s perfectly happy and pain free and vets are very happy with her progress. We’ve fallen in love with her, how could you not? She’s such a little star.”
The Dick take their new family member to weekly hydrotherapy and physiotherapy sessions to ease any strain on her back caused by standing on her hind legs.
“She is very independent and it doesn’t hold her back at all,” Ms Dick said. “Though if we are going on a long walk we will take a puppy carrier to give her a little rest when she needs it.”
“She is right at home with the other dogs and acts like any other cheeky little puppy who just happens to have two legs and look like a kangaroo,” the woman added. “People always want to know more about Roo which is great because it spreads the word about Safe Rescue.”
“If they hadn’t brought Roo to the UK she would not have survived living on the streets with two legs. She wouldn’t be here now. Despite what she has been through she is full of personality and so loving and we feel very lucky to have her. She might look like a kangaroo but to us she is just our little puppy Roo.”
Kelly Hare, co-founder and director of Safe Rescue for Dogs, said she felt compelled to bring Roo to the UK for treatment as she knew it would be impossible to re-house her in Romania.
“Roo’s only chance was to bring her to the UK and we are thrilled to have found her such a wonderful home with experienced dog owners,” Ms Hare said.
“I was expecting a meek little puppy given what she had been through, but she was full of beans from the moment she arrived. She didn’t stop jumping around and her favourite trick was to bounce off the sofa onto the other dogs.
“She has never known life with four legs so it’s not like she looks at other dogs and wishes she had four legs. She’s just making the best of what she has and doing a fine job of it.”