By Samantha Grillo @_samanthagrillo

A TWO-legged chihuahua surprised his adopted owner by learning to leap like a kangaroo

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Videographer / Director: Krissy Koller
Producer: Samantha Grillo, Chloe Browne
Editor: Sonia Estal

Little jumper: Owner Krissy gives pet Rocket clothes to keep him snug

Rocket, an eight-and-a-half-month-old rescue dog, was given away after he arrived with serious birth defects.  

But after being taken in by kind-hearted Krissy Koller, from Columbus, Georgia, USA, he has proved his disability to be no barrier.

Doggy bag: Rocket was taken in by the MIA Foundation who put him up for adoption
No legs, no problem: Rocket takes his disability in his stride

The playful pup propels himself at alarming speed by leaping and bounding on two legs. 

And as well as being able to eat, drink and run unassisted, the energetic dog is even a strong swimmer. 

Krissy, 40, said: “Rocket’s name really sums up his personality - he’s a ball of energy.

Got it licked: Rocket's owner, Krissy, taught him to walk on two legs
Leaps and bounds: Since being rescued Rocket has thrived

“He’s very affectionate and loves everyone and everything - adults, kids and animals alike. 

“We also call him kangaroo because of the way he hops around. 

“He’s very fast and agile - I can’t catch him when he runs and he can hurdle the stairs quicker than I can.”

After his owners felt they could no longer care for him, Rocket was taken in by the MIA Foundation in New York.

Puppy dog eyes: "Rocket loves everyone and everything"
Sleeping dogs: Rocket loves dozing under Krissy's duvet

The charity rescues animals born with birth defects and pays for their veterinary care before putting them up for adoption. 

Based in New York the foundation performs rescues all over the world including dogs in Japan and the Dominican Republic.

Krissy, mum to Jessi, 13, adopted Rocket in December last year and has been amazed at his tenacity and agility. 

She said: “I’m the lucky one because I got to then adopt Rocket when he was three months old.

“He is able to do everything a normal dog can do - he can eat and drink unassisted and he’s very quick.

Standing tall: Rocket has learned to balance on his two hind legs
Doggy paddle: Rocket surprised his owner by being a strong swimmer

“The biggest problem is he’s totally fearless so you have to try and keep an eye out to keep him safe. 

“He doesn’t see any problem with throwing himself off the furniture and doesn’t think he’ll get hurt.”

And incredibly Krissy recently discovered Rocket possessed an unlikely skill. 

She said: “We like to go swimming a lot so we got Rocket a little life jacket. 

“When we got to the water he was kicking his legs and whimpering like he wanted to go in. 

“So we let him try and he was a natural - he’s actually a really strong swimmer.”

Krissy volunteers for the MIA Foundation helping to transport animals from across the States to the centre in New York.

She said: “I saw a photo of Rocket when he was just seven or eight weeks old and I just knew I was going to adopt him.

Paws for thought: A genetic birth defect led to Rocket's disability
Sausage dog: Rocket's torso appears elongated in the absence of front legs

“There’s something in his eyes that made me fall in love with him and I knew I wanted to have him.”

Krissy is now training Rocket to be an anti-bullying ambassador in schools to raise awareness about disabilities. 

Puppy love: Krissy fell for Rocket the moment she laid eyes on him

She said: “My daughter Jessi is legally blind and she has a very strong bond with Rockets.

“I know he can do a lot of good and I want to show people that just because you may look or act different, we are all the same."