Meet Mateo, a sweet rescue dog who loves teaching the world about animal prosthetics one confident walk at a time. Mateo was less than a month old when locals found him on the side of a highway in Greece. He was lying on a mound of trash with his sister and missing a paw. Although she knew that adopting a special needs dog would be difficult, especially since she already had two dogs at home, Pinscht didn’t let it affect her decision.
At first, Mateo’s rescuers thought that his missing paw could be a birth defect, but they quickly realized by the scars on his leg that it had been amputated.
To get the best medical attention for his leg, rescuers transported Mateo from Greece to an experienced foster home in Germany. That’s where Veronica Pinscht first laid eyes on him.
“I was in love with him right from the start,” Pinscht told The Dodo. “[The challenge] was worth it to me.”
Pinscht brought Mateo home with her and introduced him to his new siblings — Mojo and Rana.
Mojo and Rana also came from tragic beginnings, just like Mateo, and they bonded with their new brother instantly.
“They [have been] one heart and soul from day one,” Pinscht said. “[As of] today, the three are inseparable and protect each other.”
On top of looking out for one another, the three dogs also like to teach each other new skills and tricks.
Mojo, for example, helped Mateo learn how to walk comfortably on his first prosthetic leg.
Mateo started wearing a prosthetic leg when he was 6 months old. Pinscht quickly realized that the best way to teach Mateo how to use his new leg correctly was to walk him on a leash.
“This kept him focused,” Pinscht said.
Ever the supportive brother, Mojo insisted on walking next to Mateo on the first day of prosthetic training and every day after that. So Pinscht decided to make the training fun for Mojo, too.
Over a short period of time, Pinscht taught Mojo how to grab Mateo’s leash with his mouth and walk with him.
“This was a lot of fun for Mojo because he was integrated in the training,” Pinscht said. “And Mateo had support from his little big brother.”
This also allowed Pinscht to film Mateo walking from the front, which helped her track his progress over time.
Mojo and Mateo have gone on countless walks like this since Mateo first started wearing prosthetics. And after every walk, Mojo gives his brother a supportive hug.
You can watch one here:
When they’re not adventuring in Germany, Meet Mateo, Mojo and Rana like to travel all over Europe together with their mom.
“[Whether we’re in] France, London, Italy or Portugal, the dogs are always with us,” Pinscht said. “They love to discover new places.”
But their international travels serve more than one purpose. While the family explores new places together, they are actively teaching about — and normalizing — animal prosthetics.
“It’s nice to show the world that a dog like Mateo has fun in life and that prostheses are possible for animals, too,” Pinscht said. “And that rescue dogs rock!”