Rescued 3-legged dog inspires children's book to help kids with special needs

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A farm in the North Georgia mountains is a special place for disabled animals who have nowhere else to go. The animals inspired the farm's owners to write a children's book teaching kids to celebrate being different. 

The couple who runs Horse Creek Stable adopted a three-legged golden retriever named Tricycle, and he and several other animals are now service animals who travel to schools, hospitals, and nursing homes to help children and elderly people get through tough times.

Lester and Diane Aradi's book is called "Tricycle and Friends: The True Life Adventures of a Three-Legged Golden Retireiver and His Rescued Farm Animal Friends," and it's based on their adopted golden retriever who was hit by a car and lost his leg.

"No one wanted to adopt Tricycle," said Lester Aradi. "I don't know why, but he languished at pet lodge for a very long time and so we took him."

Now, Tricycle lives at Horse Creek Stable with several other dogs including another three-legged golden retriever Romeo, senior dogs Shadow and Blue, and Hope, a dog with the animal form of cerebral palsy. All of these dogs had no place to go, but the Aradi's have given them a loving home and a purpose serving the community.

The farm also has llamas, horses, and is home to Georgia's only therapy donkey, Buckaroo.

"The abuses that they've had, they're all gone," said Diane Aradi. "They're happy, they wake up smiling and ready to seize the day."

The Aradi's also foster animals for larger rescue organizations across the state including Adopt a Golden Atlanta and South East Llama Rescue.

"Our job is either to adopt the ones that are not adoptable or the rehabilitate the ones that need medical attention," said Lester.

And all the lessons they've lived are incorporated into the book.

"It does talk about what its like to be adopted, what its like to be bullied," said Lester. The book talks about how differences are good and disabilities are truly special abilities. 

The Aradi's hope parents will use the book to have conversations with their children about tough topics that Tricycle experiences.

"Well mostly we want parents to be able to use the book and sit down with their children and make those children understand that they are special," said Lester.

When you purchase the book, 100 percent of the proceeds go directly to caring for the animals at Horse Creek Stable. You can buy the book here.

The Aradi's also run a bed and breakfast to help pay for the animals' medical care and feed costs, and you can book a stay here.

You can also volunteer at the Stable, just click here for more information.