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.

Just Posted

B.C. Centre for Disease Control data showing new cases by local health area for the week of May 2-8. (BCCDC image)
Vancouver Island COVID-19 local case counts the lowest they’ve been all year

On some areas of Island, more than 60 per cent of adults have received a vaccine dose

A nurse gets a swab ready to perform a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Island’s daily COVID-19 case count drops below 10 for just the second time in 2021

Province reports 8 new COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island Wednesday

Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Campbell River dock fire spread slowed thanks to security guard

Creosote docks pose challenges for fire fighters

Scenes like this one in the dugout are all too frequent for parents and kids arriving to play baseball at Nunns Creek Park these days, spurring a request to the city to let them move to the Sportsplex in Willow Point. Photo from CRMB presentation to City of Campbell River
Safety concerns run Campbell River Minor Baseball out of Nunns Creek Park

Parents say ‘needle and feces sweeps’ have become part of everyday life for the baseball community

The cover of the newly redesigned Beaver Lodge Forest Lands activity guide. Photo courtesy Greenways Land Trust
Greenways redesigns Beaver Lodge activity guide

Guide has helped teach students for over a decade

Prince Rupert was one of the first B.C. communities targeted for mass vaccination after a steep rise in infections. Grey area marks community-wide vaccine distribution. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. tracks big drop in COVID-19 infections after vaccination

Prince Rupert, Indigenous communities show improvement

Canada’s demo Hornet soars over the Strait of Georgia near Comox. The F-18 demo team is returning to the Valley for their annual spring training. Photo by Sgt. Robert Bottrill/DND
F-18 flight demo team returning to Vancouver Island for spring training

The team will be in the Comox Valley area from May 16 to 24

Saanich police and a coroner investigated a fatal crash in the 5200-block of West Saanich Road on Feb. 4, 2021. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Police determine speed, impairment not factors in fatal Greater Victoria crash

Driver who died veered across centre line into oncoming traffic for unknown reason, police say

Ladysmith RCMP safely escorted the black bear to the woods near Ladysmith Cemetary. (Town of Ladysmith/Facebook photo)
Bow-legged bear returns to Ladysmith, has an appointment with the vet

Brown Drive Park closed as conservation officers search for her after she returned from relocation

Brian Peach rescues ducklings from a storm drain in Smithers May 12. (Lauren L’Orsa video screen shot)
VIDEO: Smithers neighbours rescue ducklings from storm drain

Momma and babies made it safely back to the creek that runs behind Turner Way

Signage for ICBC, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, is shown in Victoria, B.C., on February 6, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
$150 refunds issued to eligible customers following ICBC’s switch to ‘enhanced care’

Savings amassed from the insurance policy change will lead to one-time rebates for close to 4 million customers

Pixabay
Island Health: two doctors, new clinic space to avert Port McNeill health crisis

Island Health has leased space to use as an immediate clinic location to avert health crisis

Police investigate a fatal 2011 shooting in a strip mall across from Central City Shopping Centre, which was deemed a gang hit. The Mayor’s Gang Task Force zeroed in on ways to reduce gang involvement and activity. (File photo)
COVID-19 could be a cause in public nature of B.C. gang violence: expert

Martin Bouchard says the pandemic has changed people’s routines and they aren’t getting out of their homes often, which could play a role in the brazen nature of shootings

A poignant Pandemic Postcard Project submission has led Lesley Wright and Graham Hughes of Literacy Alberni on a new path toward anti-racism education. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
‘I am not a virus’: How one postcard sparked a Vancouver Island pushback against racism

Literacy Alberni receives $50K in funding to create web-driven system for reporting racism

Most Read