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

Traffic impacts in the downtown Kitimat area are expected to be finished by 4:30 p.m. (Jacob Lubberts photo)
Traffic impact in the downtown Kitimat area

The impacted intersections are Haisla/Lahakas intersection and Kuldo/Haisla intersection

“Skeena,” by John Hudson and Paul Hanslow is one of five fonts in the running to become the default for Microsoft systems and Office programs. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Font named after Skeena River could become the next Microsoft default

One of the five new fonts will replace Calibri, which has been Microsoft’s default since 2007

Water will be turned off in Service Centre on May 5th, from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. (Black Press Media files)
Water in Service Centre will be turned off for system repairs

The water will be turned off on, May 5th from 9 p.m. until the following day at 5 a.m.

The Tamitik Status of Women Association has been receiving anti-racism funding since 2018 and has done a multitude of initiatives over the years. Unable to host in-person events, the TSWA plans to host virtual workshops for all who identify as a woman in Kitimat and Kitamaat Village. (Black Press file)
Tamitik Status of Women Association receive $7,500 in anti-racism funding

TSWA plans to hold women’s gathering events and engage with local government about diversity policies

A Rapid Word Collection workshop took place in 2020 where the Haisla community recorded thousands of words to help them reclaim their language. (Haisla Nation video screenshot)
Haisla reclaim their native language through word collection workshops

Over 10,000 words and 5,000 recordings are now available online

Jose Marchand prepares Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination doses at a mobile clinic for members of First Nations and their partners, in Montreal, Friday, April 30, 2021. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization is coming under fire after contradicting the advice Canadians have been receiving for weeks to take the first vaccine against COVID-19 that they’re offered. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Trudeau says he is glad he got AstraZeneca, vaccines are only way out of pandemic

‘The most important thing is to get vaccinated with the first vaccine offered to you’

A man who allegedly spat at and yelled racial slurs at an Asian family was arrested for hate-motivated assault Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
Arrest made after man spits, yells anti-Asian racial slurs at Victoria mom and kids

The man was arrested for hate-motivated assault near Quadra Elementary School Tuesday

A lady wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canada may find it challenging to reach herd immunity from COVID-19, experts say

Level of immunity among the population changes with the variants, especially the more transmissible strains

B.C.’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Dip in COVID-19 cases with 572 newly announced in B.C.

No new deaths have been reported but hospitalized patients are up to 481, with 161 being treated in intensive care

Solar panels on a parking garage at the University of B.C. will be used to separate water into oxygen and hydrogen, the latter captured to supply a vehicle filling station. (UBC video)
UBC parkade project to use solar energy for hydrogen vehicles

Demonstration project gets $5.6M in low-carbon fuel credits

FILE – A student arrives at school as teachers dressed in red participate in a solidarity march to raise awareness about cases of COVID-19 at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. ‘should be able to’ offer 1st dose of COVID vaccine to kids 12+ by end of June: Henry

Health Canada authorized the vaccine for younger teens this morning

A woman in the Harrison Mills area was attacked by a cougar on Tuesday, May 4. B.C. Conservation Officers killed two male cougars in the area; the attack was determined to be predatory in nature. (File photo)
2 cougars killed following attack on woman in Agassiz area

Attack victim remains in hospital in stable condition

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. CDC updates info, acknowledging small respiratory droplets can spread COVID-19

Large droplets, not aerosols had been fixture of public health messaging for many months

Most Read