Roosevelt pops a wheelie to get over a pipe during a walk, Saturday, April 7, 2012, in Portland. The $900 custom-built cart compensates for his handicap. "It's his front-wheel drive," says his owner, Stephanie Fox. Buy Photo
A motorist slows down to check out Roosevelt on Saturday in Portland. "Everyone is curious, " says his owner, Stephanie Fox. "A little kid thought he came from the Land of Misfit Toys," the fictional place in the story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Buy Photo
Roosevelt leads the way on a walk along Stevens Avenue with his owner, Stephanie Fox (left) and Katie Anderson, with her border collie, Denali, Saturday, April 7, 2012, in Portland. Roosevelt is trained to listen for voice commands, allowing him occasional freedom from leash, even along busy streets. Buy Photo
Stephanie Fox carries Roosevelt at her home, Saturday, April 7, 2012, in Portland. "He doesn't like to go down stairs because he can't control his balance," Fox said. "But he really will do anything else, once he knows he won't get hurt." Buy Photo
Roosevelt gets a hug from his owner, Stephanie Fox, Saturday, April 7, 2012, in Portland. "People say, 'Oh, the poor thing.' But he wakes up happy every day. He doesn't know he's different." Buy Photo
PORTLAND, Maine — When Stephanie Fox went to see the puppy almost three years ago at New England Border Collie Rescue, she knew the breed didn’t always make the best pet. As an experienced owner of other border collies, she was well aware of their need for constant work and attention. So how much more of a challenge would it be if she adopted one with deformed front legs?
“The only difference between Roosevelt and other dogs is that instead of a collar I snap on his wheels to take him out,” she said.
“People think he should have been put down because they think he’s suffering,” she said. “But he wakes up happy every day. If you had a child with a disability you’d try to enrich them, give them opportunities. So why not do the same with a dog?”