Puppy With A Purpose
Three years after his leg amputation, 7-year-old Paxton Williams’ family welcomed a puppy missing a front paw into their home. Little did they know, Marvel wasn’t just any puppy but a special puppy that would serve a bigger purpose in Paxton’s life as a kid living with a prosthetic leg.
Marvel the Golden Retriever puppy was born in Minnesota to Rolling Oaks Goldens breeder Barb Felt. She was the only puppy from her litter born missing her right front paw, but lucky for her Barb didn’t see that as a detriment.
“When she was born, we knew right away she had a special purpose,” Felt said. “We wanted her to go in a home with someone who had a limb difference.”
As chance would have it, one of Barb’s other clients was the occupational therapist that Paxton was seeing. Through the therapist, Barb was able to connect with the Williams family whose son had received a leg amputation just three years prior at four years old.
Marvel, The Amputation Advocate
Seven years ago, Paxton Williams was born prematurely. A complication of his birth was an unfortunate infection that left the growth in his right leg stunted. At the age of four, Paxton’s parents chose to make the heart-wrenching decision to have his right leg amputated. The amputation would then allow for replacement with a prosthetic limb, ideally granting him the freedom of opportunity to do things as simple as run later on in life.
While the amputation was successful, it meant that Paxton was going to face a new set of challenges when it came to interacting with his peers. However, that all changed when Marvel entered into his life.
“It gives him the opportunity to tell the kids, ‘Oh, she’s missing a paw, she’s like me,'” the mom explained. “And like it gives him that voice, too, to advocate for himself.”
Perfect Place, Perfect Time, Best Friends
Not only does Marvel allow Paxton to share his story and normalize his experience with other kids, but his parents have also seen an equal amount of confidence boost in their son at home. Paxton and Marvel share trail walks near their home that Paxton’s dad, Blaine, believes is only further proof that the two were meant to be best friends
“It’s like they knew they were special,” Blaine said.
“The number of emotions that were running through me at the time,” he continued. “It was just awesome because it was knowing that she was in the perfect place at the perfect time.”
Though she doesn’t need one now, Marvel may need a wheelchair as time passes and she continues to grow. There’s a chance she may even end up with a prosthetic of her own at some point. All obstacles aside, the Williams family hopes that Paxton will one day be able to run with his prosthetic leg and Marvel by his side. Watch the heartwarming video below.