Local company supplied prosthetic leg to award-winning Great Dane

Hattie, a Great Dane who stole hearts at the Kimbell Art Museum’s inaugural Dog Day event, moves with confidence thanks to a prosthetic leg from a Fort Worth company.

Hattie was born ‘with a defective limb’ in Florida as a result of her umbilical cord being wrapped around her leg. She was fitted with the artificial limb she wears today by Baker Orthotics & Prosthetics, which has been producing custom orthotics and prosthetics since 1946 and now has locations in the Dallas-Fort Worth area as well as other parts of Texas.

The Spotted Great Dane was among several hundred dogs and their humans who took part in Kimbell’s Dog Day festivities held August 26 in conjunction with National Dog Day and the launch of Kimbell’s latest acquisition. Kimbell: Dog guarding a basket of grapes by Austrian artist Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller.

Kimbell Dog Day offered a variety of activities that dog owners could enjoy with their canine companions, including free animal drawings, refreshing ice cream and shaved ice treats for people and dogs, art activities and a pet parade and competition with categories for small dogs, large dogs, best costume, dog that most closely resembles the dog in Waldmüller’s painting and overall “Best in Show “.

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Hattie won in the biggest dog category as much for her resilience as for her enormous size.

Baker Orthotics & Prosthetics’ primary patients are people, but “we’re definitely doing animals,” said prosthetist/orthotist Mackenzie Gilmore.

After rescuing Hattie as a puppy, her owners, Connor Teague and his wife, Allie Taschuk, had her fitted with a device from an out-of-state company.

But after spotting Hattie at a local park, one of Gilmore’s colleagues suggested the couple bring Hattie to Baker Orthotics & Prosthetics for an evaluation and a personalized Baker “paw thesis.”

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As the owner of a Great Dane, Gilmore understood the importance of a device suitable for the size of a Hattie dog.

“It’s one thing for a 10-pound dog to hobble, but it’s another thing for a 150-pound dog,” she said. Spinal alignment and chest support are crucial, she said.

Baker fitted Hattie, now 2½, with several prosthetics as they needed to be replaced as she grew. Gilmore said she would likely need more changes.

Baker provided all services for Hattie pro bono.

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The prosthetic leg, along with an adaptive foot, gives Hattie confidence, Gilmore said.

“She loves it and doesn’t see it as a toy to play with,” Gilmore said. “She gets sad without it.”

Although she is not a therapy dog, Gilmore said Hattie is an inspiration to human amputees. She will be featured in a coloring book the company is creating for patients.

Gladys T. Hensley