MOUNT DESRT — Frank and Lynnette Powell have four dogs, all Samoyeds, with a total of 15 paws.
The youngest, 5-year-old TeddyBear, lost his left rear foot not long after birth in a puppy mill in the Pennsylvania Dutch country. His original owner decided she couldn’t keep him, so she turned him over to the Powells, who lived in the Lancaster area. They took the dog to their veterinarian and asked what could be done about his missing foot.
“She told us about a place called My Pet’s Brace in Morgantown, Pennsylvania, which was not too far from us, that did prosthetics and braces for dogs,” Frank Powell said.
TeddyBear got a prosthetic foot, which the Powells call a boot, when he was a year old.
“Dogs can get by with just three legs, but they have to hobble or run, and favoring one leg affects their spine,” Powell said. “Within a few weeks of TeddyBear getting the boot, his spine started straightening up. It made a humongous difference.
“He doesn’t let anything stop him. I call him a jock in a house of geeks.”
Two years ago, the Powells, along with their four dogs and four cats, moved to Mount Desert, having vacationed on the island for a number of years.
“We moved here because we love the outdoors and we love hiking the carriage trails in Acadia, and TeddyBear handles the hikes with no problem at all,” Powell said. “We love meeting all the other dog people when we’re out. And most people say they don’t even notice TeddyBear’s boot until they get close to him; it’s that natural.”
Second Chance Pets TV
Now, TeddyBear is featured in the first episode of a new syndicated TV show called Second Chance Pets. The show, created by Pennsylvania-based Steve Rotfeld Productions, focuses on the work of animal prosthetist Jim Alaimo and his team at My Pet’s Brace.
Several months ago, the show’s producers asked Alaimo to recommend some animals to feature on the show. TeddyBear was on the list.
So, when the Powells took him for his annual checkup at My Pet’s Brace in June, they stayed for eight hours of filming over two days.
“Frank and Lynnette have a great story with how much they love their Samoyeds,” said Second Chance Pets showrunner DJ Dodd. “We thought TeddyBear’s story would make a good episode, and they were fantastic to work with.”
Promotional material for Second Chance Pets says the show “inspires and educates anyone interested in animal science, engineering and where the two intersect.”
“It’s a very family friendly, heartwarming show,” Dodd said. “We hope parents will watch it with their kids. But I think anybody who likes dogs is going to love the show.”
Second Chance Pets is part of a package of science programs that Rotfeld produces called Xploration Station. It is distributed by the Fox TV network and is broadcast by many Fox-affiliated TV stations around the country. The first episode, featuring TeddyBear, is to be aired Saturday, Sept. 4.
The Fox affiliate in Bangor, WVII, does not carry the Xploration Station programs. But viewers can subscribe to the Xploration Station streaming service at the Xploration Station website.