(CBS Local)– Dr. Melissa Shapiro is a veterinarian in Connecticut who has been around animals her whole life and career, but until a few years ago, she had never met a dog like Piglet. Dr. Shapiro and her family had rescued dogs before, but this one was different. Piglet is blind, deaf and weighed only two pounds when the Shapiro family first met her.
In her new book “Piglet: The Unexpected Story of a Deaf, Blind, Pink Puppy and His Family,” Dr. Shapiro writes about the lessons she and her family have learned from Piglet, the importance of empathy and the beauty of animals. CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith recently chatted with Dr. Shapiro and Piglet joined the conversation as well. This book is now available wherever books are sold.READ MORE: McClatchy Seniors Create Wide Open Walls Mural On Campus
“Piglet was born in Georgia in a hoarding situation and was rescued by a friend of mine, a veterinarian friend of mine named Gloria Andrews,” said Dr. Shapiro. “She had also rescued another dog of ours, so that’s how I met her years ago. She brings dogs up to Connecticut and has them adopted here. We were in touch when she got Piglet and she asked me if I knew someone who would be a good fit for him. I didn’t want another dog and we had six other dogs at the time. He was only a pound and a half and fit in my hand.”READ MORE: University Of Silicon Andhra Campus Proposed In San Joaquin County
Since joining the Shapiro family, Piglet has become a social media star. The dog has 258K followers on Instagram and his videos have been viewed millions of times. Dr. Shapiro loves how Piglet has inspired people around and helped them view their challenges in a more positive way.MORE NEWS: What Will Sacramento's New Homeless Shelter Look Like That's Set To Open This Week?
“Be inclusive, be kind, be empathetic and be compassionate,” said Dr. Shapiro. “I learned that sometimes it’s okay to go against what your plan was and sit back and be more flexible. This was a really nice thing to happen to me. Taking care of him required some extra patience and thoughtfulness about how we would make his life as good as it could be. I think we succeeded because he has an amazing life and he is a very happy dog. The lesson for me is expect the unexpected, be flexible and live with a Piglet mindset, which is what we call his mindset. He has a growth mindset and that is our educational program. You never know what will come from a little yes when you want to say no.”