Tag Archives: Piglet puppy

Unsung Hero #91

If you have a pet — and who doesn’t?* — chances are you’ve met Melissa Shapiro.

The veterinarian owns Visiting Vet Service. For almost 25 years, she has provided in-home care for dogs and cats.

Melissa is devoted to rescue dogs — especially those with special needs.

Two years ago Melissa rescued Piglet, his mother and 3 litter mates from a hoarding situation in Georgia.

Piglet — a dachshund/Chihuahua mix — is deaf and blind. Melissa planned on fostering him with help and support. Two months later, her foster home became his permanent one.

Melissa’s patience, love and dedication has helped Piglet thrive. He loves to run and play in the yard, take walks in the neighborhood on his harness and leash, and snuggle with people and other dogs.

Piglet at Compo Beach.

Melissa speaks regularly to groups about how Piglet’s positive mindset has helped him overcome challenges. He is so inspiring that a class in Massachusetts uses him as a role model. When problems arise, students ask, “What would Piglet do?”

This Sunday (March 31, 4 p.m.), Melissa brings Piglet and his message to the Westport Weston Family YMCA. The program is free, and appropriate for children 7 and up.

In December 2017, “06880” profiled Piglet.

Today his rescuer, savior — and friend — Dr. Melissa Shapiro gets her props. For all she does for Piglet, for all the other dogs and cats in town — and the nation, as Connecticut representative for the national Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association — Melissa is our Unsung Hero of the Week.

Dr. Melissa Shapiro, with Piglet and friend.

(Sunday’s event is sponsored by the Federation of Jewish Philanthropy of Upper Fairfield County. To learn more about Piglet, click here. To nominate an Unsung Hero of the Week, email dwoog@optonline.net. Hat tip: Monique Lions Greenspan.)

*I don’t. 

This Little Piglet…

Melissa Shapiro and her husband Warren moved to Westport 24 years ago. They’ve got 3 college-aged children, plus many rescued dogs and birds. She is a house call veterinarian, as well as Connecticut representative for the national Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association. Melissa writes:

Piglet — a deaf, blind pink dachshund/Chihuahua mix — was rescued last year from a hoarding situation in Georgia. So were his mother and 3 littermates.

But Piglet did not do well in his rescue situation. Last March he was sent to Connecticut.

I planned to foster him until he found his forever home. As things happen, that was my home. My family adopted Piglet in May.

Piglet at Compo Beach.

After months of screaming and severe separation anxiety, Piglet finally got into a routine snuggling in his dad’s arms, playing with his dog pack siblings, taking walks down the street, traveling to house calls with me, and visiting the bank, pet stores, and the animal hospital to see his BFFs,

In October, he was a celebrity guest at a Halloween fundraiser for Wolfgang & Company, a Fairfield company that employs special needs young adults to bake and sell dog treats.

Wherever he goes, he creates smiles on the faces of everyone he meets. (He’s even got his own Facebook page — click here!)

But it’s through his YouTube video that Piglet really reaches people.

A 3rd grade teacher in Massachusetts used Piglet’s video to teach her class how his positive mindset helps overcome challenges. Her students were so inspired, they used him as a role model to grow as people. When problems arise at home, kids ask, “What would Piglet do?”

The students sent hand-drawn cards to our family, with messages to Piglet. We were speechless.

Piglet’s fame has spread to Massachusetts.

That’s inspired me. I’ll make a short personalized Piglet greeting for any class or other group that wants to use this video.

But it’s not just kids who love Piglet. On January 27, he’ll be at the Senior Center. We’ll show his YouTube story, and he’ll meet and greet people who stops by.

Everyone is welcome, to see Westport’s own pink celebrity.