The amazing thing about three legged dogs is that, in no time after losing one leg, they’re running around on three as if they never had four. I even knew a dog that got hit by a car and, with one leg gone and another in a cast—both on the same side, no less—she was zooming around the house like nothing had happened within days....
This is, needless to say, very different from the way big brained mammals like myself tend to deal with even minor set-backs. Hell, I broke my hand a few years ago and sat around depressed for two months until the pins came out—not writing anything because typing with one hand was too slow. With something bigger, I’d probably pull myself together eventually, though it might take a while, and, most likely, for a long time, maybe the rest of my life, I’d feel regret for the loss, dreaming in vain of being whole again. In fact, I’ve sometimes felt that way about other losses—incomplete, even if my body remains in one piece.
But the three legged dog is whole. There’s no sense of loss or incompleteness, no regret—just adjustment, as quickly as possible, to a new set of circumstances.
After that, it’s just living.