Meet Piglet, the special needs dog whose story became a teaching tool for a third grade teacher in Massachusetts.
Piglet, a deaf and blind Dachshund Chihuahua mix, is the son of a pair of two dapple colored parents. When two dapple dogs breed, there is a 25% chance of each puppy being “double dapple,” which is linked to congenital ear and eye defects. He also happens to be pink.
His owner, Dr. Melissa Shapiro created a video, “The Story of Piglet,” for Piglet’s YouTube channel, which was used to teach students about how Piglet’s positive outlook helped him overcome challenges. They adopted a “Piglet State of Mind” as they faced obstacles each day, and asked themselves, “what would Piglet do?” when faced with a challenge. The children sent Piglet handmade cards with messages, too.
Dr. Shapiro, a veterinarian, agreed to foster him, but she quickly she fell in love and her family decided to adopt him.
After working with him to overcome his severe separation anxiety and screaming, he finally settled into a routine. That includes playing with his dog siblings, walks, visiting his pals at the bank, and going on house calls with his mom.
In a blog post for Foster Dogs NYC, Shapiro says she has raised over $10,000 for special needs rescue organizations by selling Piglet-themed merchandise. Part of Piglet’s mission includes educating people on the danger of double dapple breeding and to encourage others to adopt or foster a special needs animal. She writes that the “rewards of caring for a special dog, cat, bird, or any other species are indescribable.”