A sweet creature by the name of Piglet who is deaf and blind is inspiring young students around the world to be courageous despite road blocks.
A Connecticut veterinarian, Melissa Shapiro, offered to foster the pup after he was rescued and sent to a shelter.
The dachshund-Chihuahua mix was meant to temporarily stay with Shapiro but after just two months, Piglet was not going anywhere.
Piglet was born in a Georgia home with 35 other puppies.
The pup is Shapiro’s seventh dog and while he is now living “like a little prince,” the transition in to the family was not an easy one.
In an interview with PEOPLE, Shapiro shared:
“It was quite a decision to make. He is a lot of work and he is like a full-time job, taking care of a little disabled baby. But he’s so cute, and we couldn’t give him away at that point. He was so anxious, he was screaming constantly. He would play, then go to sleep, but when he wasn’t doing either of those, he was screaming. I couldn’t leave the house the first month I had the dog here.”
Shapiro has recorded Piglet’s journey on Instagram where he was garnered over 100,000 followers.
Piglet has gone from a scared pup to a courageous doggo — but Shapiro says “he needs to have some bigger meaning.”
Piglet’s story found its way to a third-grade classroom in Massachusetts where a teacher used the dog as an example of why you should never give up and how life’s obstacles can sometimes lead to growth.
“She called it Piglet Mindset, and we corresponded throughout the year. At the end of the year, we surprised the kids. They thought we were going to FaceTime, and we walked in with Piggy in his stroller and three of my other dogs, and everyone was crying.”
Classrooms in Alabama, Connecticut, Japan and Australia are now promoters of the Piglet Mindset Outreach program, all which teaches kids how to fight problems and use what they have to their best advantage.
Thanks to social media ads and merchandise, Shapiro and Piglet’s fundraising efforts have exceeded over $30,000, all of which has been donated to special needs dog rescues as well as other non-profit organizations.
Shapiro hopes to start up a non-profit herself to help give money to additional rescues.
“People are afraid to adopt these animals, they think that it’s going to be too much work. But people see Piglet’s page and I get so many notes from people that because of him, they just adopted. It’s rewarding to know that people are taking the lead and being inspired by Piggy. It makes a lot of people really happy to know him.”