Two-Legged Dog Runs Away…Then Finally Finds Forever Home

Shelsea Deravil shderavil@ursinus.edu

Last Saturday, many students were shocked to see an email blast from Professor Domenick Scudera that asked for help finding his lost two-legged dog. Most students were also puzzled to learn that the two-legged dog, Deuce, managed to run away during his arrival at Professor Scudera’s house.

CIE Chairman and Theatre and Dance Professor Domenick Scudera has a passion for working with therapy dogs. This passion began years ago, when he was searching online and saw a picture of a three-legged puppy named Festus. Professor Scudera immediately felt connected to Festus and decided to adopt him. Together, they enrolled in therapy training. Professor Scudera became a certified animal therapist, and the pair began visiting hospitals to meet with patients who were also disabled. Sadly, Festus has passed away, but the therapy work that Domenick began with him continues to this day.

Since then, Professor Scudera has adopted a few more dogs like Festus: Cyrus, who was born with two back legs, walks with a cart, and has been working as a therapy dog for six years; and Lucky, who has two front legs and recently passed his therapy test. The therapy dogs have become quite a sensation on social media. Their Instagram page, @2legdogs, has garnered more than 1,800 followers. They have also inspired others, both owners of physically disabled animals and people with physical disabilities themselves.

Deuce, who is the newest two-legged addition to the family, was already an Instagram sensation when he joined Scudera’s crew. His story had been on…The Dodo, a popular website that posts videos of special animals and their daily routine activities.

travelled to Collegeville last week from Kentucky where he was found in a ditch with two infected legs. His legs were eventually amputated.

His owner knew about the work that Professor Scudera was doing with therapy dogs. She contacted him and, on Labor Day weekend, drove all the way from Kentucky to Pennsylvania to bring Deuce to his new home.

But then he ran away and everyone was scared. How did this happen?

This is not the first time Scudera’s dogs have needed special attention. “Lucky needs help to go to the bathroom [and I] help carry my dogs up and down the stairs,” said Professor Scudera. Since he lives on 9th Ave. in Collegeville, a block away from the Ursinus campus, Professor Scudera can divide his time between work and home with ease. So, after rehearsals and classes, the professor goes home to check on all of his animals.

All of his animals? Yes, that’s right, Professor Scudera has a total of six dogs, a mix of therapy and four-legged, and some cats, as well. Discussing the different relationships the animals share with one another, Professor Scudera said, “the dogs are like siblings.They share a love-and-hate relationship, but Lucky and Deuce are like companions… [always together].” On the other hand, the cats are still “navigat[ing] their way” around the dogs, much like Deuce had trouble navigating the campus originally!

Deuce’s new chapter of life with Professor Scudera has definitely changed for the better. Deuce, along with Cyrus and Lucky, continues to attend rehab for amputation therapy. As for Professor Scudera, he continues to be an amazing owner to all of his beloved pets, especially to his newest arrival, the adventurous Deuce. Yes, the two-legged dog did explore Ursinus while he was missing: he was spotted by the Collegeville Arms Apartments and Hunsberger Woods before finding his way back home.