TRIPOD, the amazing three-legged puppy, has found a new home.

And he will be in good company . . . one of his two brothers has joined him.

Tripod's mother, golden retriever Molly, gave birth to four black pups, all with their own personality. But playful Tripod was even more out of the ordinary.

He was born with only three legs and owner, Sue Shephard, of Heaton, was desperate to find the right home for him.

After the Bolton Evening News told the tale of Tripod, Mrs Shephard received more than 40 telephone calls from kind-hearted people offering him a home.

But when Susan Abbey, of Morris Green, called, Mrs Shephard knew that hers was the family she wanted the courageous canine to join.

After reading about Tripod, Mrs Abbey got straight on to the telephone to husband Mark and he agreed that the dog would make a great addition to the family.

Now Tripod, who has been given the new name Smudge by the Abbey family, is happily bounding around his new backyard along with one of his brothers. He and Chester share squeaky toys and a basket.

Mrs Abbey said: "When we contacted Sue, we told her we'd also love to take one of the other puppies, too. We didn't even expect her to call us back, but we were so excited when she did.

"At first she told us that the others had homes to go to, but when we arrived at the house to visit, Sue told us another was available, too."

Smudge and Chester have settled well into their new home, and Mrs Abbey says that Smudge is coping even though he has a missing front leg. The family's children, Ryan, aged 13, Nicola, aged 11 and Colleen, aged nine, also love to have the pups around, but were a little wary about handling Smudge at first.

Mrs Abbey said: "The children have been trying really hard to remember to put Smudge down carefully on the floor and not let him jump from their lap.

"But he is a very loving pup and loves to be cuddled."

A spokesman for Pike Moor Veterinary Surgery in Horwich, said that Smudge being born with three legs was probably a freak of nature.