Bright Spot: Piglet: The deaf, blind pink puppy with a purpose
WESTPORT, Conn. (WFSB) - There’s a deaf and blind puppy who lives in Connecticut but is touching hearts across the country.
Meet ‘Piglet,’ the deaf, blind pink puppy.
Connecticut veterinarian, Melissa Shapiro offered to foster the poor pup from a hoarding situation in Georgia.
“I thought he would come and go pretty quickly because he was so tiny and so cute.”
Piglet is a Dachshund Chihuahua mix and he’s double dapple: a gene which is linked to a white coat and congenital ear and eye defects.
“A lot of the puppies are born with abnormal looking eyes, and deafness. Some are blind, some are deaf, some are both.”
That’s the case for Piglet, which has created more of a challenge than many may think.
“He was really a lot of work and I kept describing how difficult he was. He doesn’t take walks, he’s quite disabled, but he’s a very competent and active dog.”
And that ultimately led to Melissa deciding on giving him a forever home.
“After two months of applications and back and forth, we were getting very attached to him of course and felt very responsible to him to make sure that he really landed in the right place and he was very, very happy here… So, we kept him.”
With some work, Melissa was able to help guide Piglet in learning his environment.
“He leads the way wherever he goes in that he maps his areas. He uses his sense of smell, and his sense of touch using his pawprints and he bumps things with his nose.”
And then she started sharing his journey on social media.
Soon word spread about this tiny dog in Connecticut who had learned to adjust to his many challenges.
“His Facebook page grew, his Instagram page grew, and we got an article in PEOPLE magazine through a friend’s daughter.”
But it didn’t stop there. A teacher in Massachusetts who saw Piglet’s videos even created a curriculum around his story with Melissa’s help.
“He was recognized as a great model for her students to learn about ‘growth optimism,’ which is: optimism, flexibility, resilience, perseverance, and empathy.”
And from there, the ‘Piglet Mindset Educational Outreach Program’ was born.
“It’s free for download for teachers, parents, and whoever wants to use that kind of messaging in their organization or their classroom.”
Then, Melissa says, came the book deal. “It’s called: “Piglet: The Unexpected Story of a Deaf Blind Pink Puppy and his Family.”
Today Melissa and Piglet tour local libraries and have been featured on numerous shows and in reputable publications.
“He’s an ambassador for so many in such a special way, that his life is valuable, and my original promise to myself when we adopted him was to have him advocate and educate about dogs, rescue dogs, and those with special needs.”
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