Two-year-old Ivy McLeod (right), seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod (right), seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

B.C. family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

A Chilliwack family is on the hunt for a special puppy that has the same condition as its youngest member – a limb difference.

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod is a congenital bilateral amputee. Both her arms were not formed correctly while in the womb. There’s no official name for it, so it’s typically known as a “limb difference” because her limbs are different than what most people have.

Ivy’s mom Vanessa said they are now searching for a puppy, who also has a limb difference, to join the family.

“I’m looking for a companion for my daughter who was born with limbs that are a little different than most. What others might think imperfect or flawed, I think is beautiful and deserving of love,” Vanessa said.

She and her husband, Sean, found out about Ivy’s limb difference when she was 19 weeks pregnant. The specialist appointment she had with doctors and a counsellor at BC Children’s Hospital was “severely disappointing,” she said.

“They told me to terminate my pregnancy. They told me she would have no quality of life.”

After declining the termination, Vanessa was offered an amniocentesis – a procedure where a sample of amniotic fluid is taken to test for any genetic abnormality. There are risks with an amniocentesis, so the McLeods declined that, too.

RELATED: War Amps celebrating 75 years of service to amputees in Canada

The remainder of her pregnancy was difficult and emotional with a lot of fear and anxiety, but on the day Ivy was born, Vanessa knew she made the right choice.

“The moment she was born and she looked me in the eyes, I knew she was exactly where she was meant to be.”

Because of the limb difference, doctors figured there must be some underlying cause, but there wasn’t. Ivy was born perfectly healthy and still is two years later.

“She’s a normal two-year-old. Whatever she wants to do, she does it,” Vanessa said. “She refuses to let me help her up the stairs. She’s very independent. She’s the most fearless, determined little girl I’ve ever met.”

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

Ivy uses her toes like fingers to pick things up. She grasps a pen with her little toes, just like anyone else would use their hands.

When playing, she pushes buttons on toys with her toes. She will tuck something under her chin, or between her shoulder and ear to carry something.

Ivy does anything she wants, she just has her own “unique” way of doing it, says her mom.

Now the McLeod family wants to welcome a unique dog into their family – one with a limb difference, just like Ivy.

They would like to get a small- or medium-breed puppy so that it can grow with Ivy and her four-year-old sister Elena.

Vanessa said she knows there are many “tripod” dogs out there, but many of them often come with trauma issues following the accident or illness that resulted in the loss of their limb.

They are not closed off to the idea of getting an older dog, but they would prefer a puppy.

“I believe in fate. I truly believe there’s a puppy out there that is just meant to be part of our family,” Vanessa said. “A lot of people would discard a dog like that. I don’t believe a limb difference – whether a dog or a human – makes you any less worthy of love, of life, of a home. People told me that maybe Ivy doesn’t deserve a shot at life, and here she is.”

She knows one day, Ivy will ask why she was born this way.

“I think that having a little puppy companion who was born the same way will be a huge comfort to her. I’m hoping they will have a really special bond because of their differences.

“I want people to know her life isn’t sad. I don’t feel sad about her differences. She’s just different and different is beautiful in so many unexpected ways,” Vanessa said.

If you know of a puppy that might be the perfect fit for Ivy and her family, contact Vanessa at vanessadmcleod@gmail.com, or on Instagram.

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena (left) and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena (left) and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)


 

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on?
Email: jenna.hauck@theprogress.com
Twitter: @PhotoJennalism

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Cariboo Regional District. (Angie Mindus photo)
Telus tower proposed for Horse Lake Road

CRD will consider a proposal for wireless telecommunications facility.

(Kamloops This Week file photo)
Probe into TNRD spending taken over by federal police unit

Financial Integrity Sensitive Investigations Unit is now reviewing the case

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Stolen truck found broken down on Highway 97C, Williams Lake suspect arrested near Ashcroft

A security guard first noticed the truck, and thought it looked suspicious

Janet Wright, 82. has been skiing since she was in her 20s and has regularly skied 50 km a day at least once each winter just to prove she can. (Photo submitted)
Nordic skiers track record year, personal bests

Oban Chambers, 9, and Janet Wright, 82, clocked the most miles these season

Amanda Patterson is excited to open the South Cariboo Farmers' Market at the South Cariboo Rec Centre this Friday, May 7. (Kelly Sinoski photo, 100 Mile Free Press).
Farmers, crafters get set for market

South Cariboo Farmer’s Market opens on Friday, May 7.

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

The Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Louis S. St-Laurent sails past a iceberg in Lancaster Sound, Friday, July 11, 2008. The federal government is expected to end nearly two years of mystery today and reveal its plan to build a new, long overdue heavy icebreaker for the Canadian Coast Guard. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver, Quebec shipyards to each get new heavy icebreaker, cost remains a mystery

Vancouver’s Seaspan Shipyards and Quebec-based Chantier Davie will each build an icebreaker for the coast guard

Findings indicate a culture of racism, misogyny and bullying has gripped the game with 64 per cent of people involved saying players bully others outside of the rink. (Pixabay)
Misogyny, racism and bullying prevalent across Canadian youth hockey, survey finds

56% of youth hockey players and coaches say disrespect to women is a problem in Canada’s sport

People line up outside an immunization clinic to get their Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in Edmonton, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Hospital investigating whether Alberta woman who died after AstraZeneca shot was turned away

Woman was taken off life support 12 days after getting vaccine

People line up for COVID-19 vaccination at a drop-in clinic at Cloverdale Recreation Centre on Wednesday, April 27, 2021. Public health officials have focused efforts on the Fraser Health region. (Aaron Hinks/Peace Arch News)
B.C.’s COVID-19 spread continues with 694 new cases Thursday

Two million vaccine doses reached, hospital cases down

Allayah Yoli Thomas had recently turned 12 years old when she died of a suspected drug overdose April 15. (Courtesy of Adriana Londono)
Suspected overdose death of Vancouver Island 12 year old speaks to lack of supports

Allayah Yoli Thomas was found dead by her friend the morning of April 15

More than 6,000 camping reservations in British Columbia were cancelled as a result of a provincial order limiting travel between health regions. (Unsplash)
1 in 4 camping reservations cancelled in B.C. amid COVID-19 travel restrictions

More than 6,500 BC Parks campsite reservations for between April 19 and May 25 have been revoked

B.C. average home price and sales level to 2023, showing steep drop in sales expected next year. (Central 1)
Forecast calls for B.C. home sales to ‘explode,’ then drop off

Average price to rise another 10% in 2021, credit unions say

Members of Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. (File photo)
B.C.-wide #DayOfMusic to feature 100-plus free virtual concerts May 15

‘Our colleagues across the province have figured out new ways to perform and connect,’ VSO boss says

Most Read