ASHLAND — Christmas came early for Jaxon, a rescued three-legged canine waiting for a prosthetic limb since September.

ASHLAND — Christmas came early for Jaxon, a rescued three-legged canine waiting for a prosthetic limb since September.

After weeks of measurements, castings and temporary prosthetics, Jaxon's new leg was shipped just after Thanksgiving by Denver-based Orthopets, which specializes in pet orthotics.

And he's been running on all fours ever since.

The 1-year-old black Labrador-Great Dane mix was rescued from the Jackson County animal shelter in August by Tim Church, an employee at the Ashland Recycling Center, and his wife, Lucinda. Church has helped find homes for more than 200 animals since 1992 by fostering them at the center. Church decided to adopt Jaxon himself and help the dog get a new leg.

"It was a long process to get it — almost two months," Church said.

Jaxon's life is better now with his prosthetic, Church said. Bounding across the parking lot, Jaxon easily fields one of a dozen well-worn tennis balls found around the center. "He's able to use his leg so it's not just withering away," Church said.

For the next few weeks, Jaxon will wear the prosthesis in the morning and evening until he adjusts to the device.

After an article about Jaxon appeared in the Ashland Daily Tidings recently, more than $500 was donated to help offset costs.

"It's been a very good feeling living in this community and having people be so generous and heart-felt," Church said.