I agree with Val. If he is kicking, start with a rope. It will give you leverage and keep you out of the danger zone. Start slow, lift, release, over & over. Gradually up the time you expect him to hold it up. Once he's accepting of that work your way back to that leg while using the rope and just transfer his leg to your free hand. Should he get fussy, you've still got the rope and can back off if need be to avoid a kick. It usually doesn't take too long to get them over it that way.
Life is like a camera. Focus on what's important, Capture the good times, Develop from the negatives and if things don't work out, Take another shot.