Meet Joey The Two-Legged Pup, Star Of The 2023 Puppy Bowl


Move over, Super Bowl! There’s a new game in town, and it’s all about adorable puppies. 

The annual event that showcases the cutest and most talented pups from around the country, Puppy Bowl XIX, celebrates a record number of pups, shelters, rescues, and adoption stories.

Among these heartwarming tales is the story of Joey, a small dog with a big spirit who has captured the hearts of many.

Get your popcorn ready and prepare to cheer on Joey and his furry friends as they steal your heart and take the field in this year’s Puppy Bowl!

The Two-Legged Legend Was Born 

Joey the two-legged champion
Source: Dailypaws

Joey, a tiny pup, was born on Christmas eve without his front legs. Due to his condition, the family he was born in did not know what to do with him, so poor Joey had trouble finding a new, loving family in his birthplace of Connecticut. 

While all his littermates were adopted, Joey was left behind feeling like the odd pup. 

But little did he know, his life was about to take a hoppy turn!

Joey’s story quickly captured the hearts of animal lovers everywhere, and eventually caught the attention of the Vintage Pet Rescue in Foster, Rhode Island. Despite mostly rescuing senior dogs, the rescue couldn’t resist Joey’s spunky personality and took him in back in July.

In spite of his physical limitations, Joey refused to let anything hold him back. With a pair of wheels he wasn’t too fond of, and plenty of determination, this pup quickly learned to move around on two legs. 

As his story continued to spread, it caught the attention of a loving couple from Tiverton, Rhode Island. 

They knew they had to adopt him, and soon enough he had a forever family to call his own.

Joey’s Way To His Furever Home

photo of Cathy and Joey
Source: Bostonglobe

Joey was adopted by Cathy Larson and her wife, Laurie Thibodeau, through Vintage Pet Rescue, and was added to their pack of five lovely dogs. 

Originally named Christmas, his rescuers came up with a new name after noticing his unique hopping ability.

Despite having a custom-built wheelchair, which he received at the rescue, the fun-loving pup has no interest in using it. 

Instead, he prefers to move around by “hopping” on his hind legs like a tiny kangaroo, earning him the adorable nickname “Joey.” While they use the wheelchair for feeding, he becomes as still as a statue when they put him in it.

Larson and Thibodeau hoped Joey would become best friends with their three-legged dog, Murphy, and their wish came true. 

Joey and Murphy became inseparable, always playing together and keeping each other company.

He’s also made pawesome pals with Shady, a 14-year-old blind dog who lives in the Tiverton home with them. It was clear from the start that Joey had found his perfect match! 

Joey quickly settled in with his new family and his canine siblings. But he had bigger dreams. 

A Shining Star At The Puppy Bowl XIX

With his hopping skills and playful spirit, Joey was the perfect candidate for the annual Puppy Bowl XIX event.

On the day of the Puppy Bowl XIX, Joey took to the field with his head held high. 

Joey was among the 121 adorable pups from 67 shelters and rescues spanning 34 states who participated in the event. Eleven of the puppies, including Joey, were special needs dogs who brought smiles to everyone’s faces!

Despite having only two back legs, Joey didn’t let that slow him down and showed off his energetic and playful side on the field. 

His remarkable personality and impressive hopping skills were noticed by the judges of the Puppy Bowl, leading him to win the MVP (Most Valuable Puppy) award. 

It’s a well-deserved win for the little pup who has overcome many obstacles to find his loving family and make his mark on the world!

From Underdog To Superstar

photo of joey at the puppybowl
Source: USAToday

From his humble beginnings in Connecticut to his newfound fame as a Puppy Bowl star, Joey’s journey is a true inspiration to us all.

Joey became a real canine celebrity thanks to his adorable and inspiring story of overcoming adversity as a puppy born without his front legs. 

His participation in Puppy Bowl XIX and winning the MVP award further solidified his place in the hearts of animal lovers everywhere!

His social media presence and numerous media features have also helped to spread his story and raise awareness about the importance of adopting pets with special needs. 

He’s so popular that he even has his own Facebook page called The Adventures of Joey and Friends.

With all the attention Joey is getting nowadays, Larson jokes that he needs his own agent. 

She frequently plays the role of a receptionist as she retrieves countless voicemails that are inadvertently left for Joey – it’s almost as if he has his own fan club! 

This just goes to prove that the lovable two-legged pup has an undeniable charm that wins the hearts of everyone he meets.