A year ago, someone found Cleo on the side of a road in Oklahoma after a driver hit her and took off. She was badly injured, needed surgery and ultimately lost one of her legs.
But everything changed for her earlier this year when Jordan Rosenfeld, a biomedical engineering student at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, adopted the abandoned dog after spotting an ad for her online.
He knew she only had three legs, but he figured he could help. He adopted her in his home state of New Jersey and brought her back to school with him.
“I knew I was coming to school to be a biomedical engineer, and two and two kind of clicked and I kind of figured out, you know what, she’s the one for me. I need to make her a leg,” he said.
Rosenfeld started working on the artificial leg shortly afterward, both at home and in the university’s 3-D printing lab. The process takes considerable time, and he’s encountered some challenges.
“We’re working on, I would say, the third mockup of Cleo’s leg that can hopefully withstand her weight, because the previous ones failed,” he said.
While Cleo, who turned 2 in August, is able to run fairly easily, standing or walking is more difficult.
“One issue that she definitely has is walking,” said Rosenfeld. “Walking is really tough for her; she can’t really do anything slow pace.”
He said he expects to have Cleo’s prosthetic leg ready sometime early next year.