Duncan was found as a stray in Colorado, wandering around on his front legs. His back legs were fused underneath him, completely unusable. This dog was clearly very special, and therefore in need of some special attention.
The people who found Duncan contacted Panda Paws Rescue, a special needs dog rescue in Washington, to see if the group would be willing to take him on. The rescue agreed right away, and so Duncan flew with his rescuers to Washington in hopes of finding a better life.
Before he had even arrived at the rescue, Duncan had a family who wanted to adopt him. Everything was all set — until he met the couple who runs the rescue, Gary Walters and his wife, Amanda.
Duncan formed a special bond with the couple from the very beginning, and when the family that was supposed to adopt him came to meet him, they could clearly see it too.
"They told us that they felt like he should stay with us," Walters told The Dodo.
Walters was originally worried that they wouldn't be able to give Duncan the time that he needed and deserved, because their rescue was so new. He didn't think that they should keep him, but both Duncan and his wife quickly changed his mind.
"I came up that night and Amanda was sitting in bed sobbing, telling him a story about how special he was," Walters said. "She said that she just felt in her heart that our home was his forever home. I caved."
After realizing that Duncan was meant to be theirs, Walters and his wife officially adopted him into their family. Ironically, Duncan is now a total daddy's boy, and he and Walters are completely inseparable.
"He picked me, I guess you could say, and he changed my life," Walters said. "I've always had dogs, but never one that I've bonded with like him."
When Duncan first arrived at his new home, his back legs were fused in an X shape under his body, and were twisting his spine. They would have eventually caused him severe spinal pain, and so his family made the decision to have them amputated.
So far, though, Duncan hasn't really seemed to notice.
Duncan has absolutely no idea that he's any different, and can do everything a four-legged dog can do — and even more. He refuses to use a wheelchair, and seems to get along just fine on his front two legs. He jumps off of everything, dashes up and down stairs and can run as fast and as far as he wants. Absolutely nothing gets in his way.
"It is a running joke when people see him for the first time, they normally say something like, 'He only has two legs?' or 'What happened to his legs?' We always say, "Shhhhh, don't tell him! We haven't told him yet and he doesn't know,'" Walters said.
Duncan struggles with other medical issues, too, including difficulty with his weight and a heart condition called boxer cardiomyopathy. It can cause fainting and even heart failure. Duncan has 'died' and been resuscitated twice, and his family works tirelessly to take care of him and keep him as healthy as possible.
"It is VERY important if you have a differently-abled animal that you get proper veterinary care and advice," Walters said. "Special needs animals are a lot of work and require dedication above and beyond."
Duncan is a loving, playful, strong-willed, food-obsessed dog who has yet to notice that he's a little different from the other dogs around him. He's happy just the way he is, and his family loves him that way, too.
"He would sell my soul to the devil for a single lick of peanut butter," Walters said. "His personality and will to survive is contagious."
And indeed — his thousands of followers on Instagram are inspired by him every day.
"He has changed the lives of thousands of people with his never-give-up attitude," Walters said.
If you'd like to help other dogs like Duncan, you can donate to Panda Paws Rescue.