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

BC Housing minister David Eby. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
Eby jabs back against Penticton mayor’s ad urging BC Premier to intervene in shelter dispute

Eby writes that Penticton’s ‘serious’ social issues won’t improve under leadership of the mayor

Doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine. (AP Photo/Ron Harris)
Over 42,000 first doses of COVID-19 vaccine given to South Okanagan residents

That includes more than half of the residents in the Penticton local health area

The first Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine dose in Canada is prepared at The Michener Institute in Toronto on Monday, Dec. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
One death, 39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

There are 484 active cases of the virus in the region currently

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Police working to identify the two bodies found in Naramata

Expect big police presence in the area this week as the investigation continues

Keremeos RCMP reported May 12, 2021 that missing man Nathan Bell, 38, has been found safe. (Contributed)
Missing Keremeos man found safe

Nathan Bell, 38, was last seen April 29 before being located

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains in the B.C. legislature, May 13, 2019. (Hansard TV)
VIDEO: B.C. to provide 3 days of sick pay for COVID-19 absences

Province will support employers on cost, labour minister says

Vernon’s Tanya Wick, human resources VP at Tolko Industries Ltd., has been named the 2021 HR Professional of the Year by the Chartered Professionals in Human Resources of British Columbia and Yukon. (CPHR BC & Yukon photo)
Okanagan resident gets top provincial award for HR excellence

Tolko’s Tanya Wick has earned the title of 2021 HR Professional of the Year

The City of Vernon is taking a close look at six high-priority Okanagan Lake access points, including three sites along Tronson Road (pictured above) in May 2021. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Vernon council looking closely at Okanagan Lake access points

Six access points have been identified as ideal for recreation

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 rate creeps up again, 600 new cases Wednesday

One more death, 423 people in hospital with virus

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham takes questions in the B.C. legislature in 2017. (Hansard TV)
UPDATE: B.C. will fund another year of fresh fruit, vegetables, milk in schools

John Horgan government working on school meal program

A nurse prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press Media file)
More than 40% of Central Okanagan residents have received 1st vaccine dose

Local clinics have administered 81,247 first doses to Central Okanagan residents

Surrey RCMP is releasing sketches of a suspect in an “indecent act” at the Coyote Creek Elementary playground on April 30, 2021. Police said the suspect was clean-shaven “during some interactions” and on “other occasions had stubble outlining a goatee and mustache.” (Images: Surrey RCMP handout)
Vancouver mayor-elect Kennedy Stewart addresses supporters in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver mayor says there’s no time to redo details of drug decriminalization plan

Kennedy Stewart says a federal election could see the small window of opportunity close on the city’s bid for an exemption from criminal provisions on simple possession of small amounts of drugs

Most Read