It all started with a generous vet fostering a pup…
When the pink, deaf, blind puppy needed a foster home, experienced vet, Melissa Shapiro agreed to take him in. Melissa and her family already had a bunch of dogs and birds but she was prepared to devote extra time to Piglet, the pink rescue pup to ensure he would soon be ready to go to a forever home. What Melissa didn’t realize was that she and her family would fall in love with this severely disabled dog and he would become not only one of the most cherished pets in the family, but he would have a greater purpose teaching children and also become a social media sensation! This story of adopting an atypical rescue dog will bring animal lovers to tears of joy and warm their hearts!
Piglet, along with his inclusion pack made up of 7 brother and sister rescue dogs are the inspiration for an incredible children’s educational program that incorporates the growth mindset, kindness and inclusivity. No matter what your abilities are, with effort and perseverance comes achievement. And accepting and including those with differences makes the world a better place. Piglet and his inclusion pack are perfect examples of how to get along together, prosper and be joyful, and from this, The Piglet Mindset was developed.
The Piglet Mindset Educational Program provides free materials for all teachers, librarians and educators across the country so they can bring the lessons Piglet exemplifies to their students. The power points, creative project and implementation ideas are versatile and can be incorporated into classroom activities in many ways. To support the lessons, Melissa, Piglet and some of the rescue pup siblings will make special classroom visits to show the kids how Piglet and his family communicate and get along! Although Piglet cannot see or hear, he maps out his surroundings, has learned to follow commands through touch and tapping, and has a fun and fulfilling life with the Shapiros, and his fellow rescue siblings.
Piglet, The Unexpected Story of a Deaf Blind Pink Puppy and His Family is a heartwarming story of rescue, love and purpose. Melissa has also written a children’s book as part of the Piglet Mindset called Piglet Comes Home. This book is a wonderful addition to elementary school classrooms and student libraries. If you or your company would like to generously support Piglet classroom visits and copies of Piglet Comes Home for underfunded classrooms, email email@example.com to learn more and request sponsorship package information.
About the Author
Melissa Shapiro, DVM, is a small-animal veterinarian, author, and speaker/advocate for pets and people with disabilities. She is also the driving force behind the social media phenomenon Piglet, the deaf blind pink puppy (@pinkpigletpuppy).
For over 25 years, Dr. Shapiro has been the owner and operator of the Visiting Vet Service, a house call practice in Fairfield County, CT. She is active in dog rescue and is the Connecticut state representative for the Humane SocietyVeterinary Medical Association.
In addition to her work as a veterinarian, Dr. Shapiro creates and publishes all content for her popular social media pages that feature Piglet, her deaf blind pink dog. In 2017, Dr. Shapiro co-created the Piglet Mindset® educational outreach program, which uses Piglet’s story to teach growth mindset, resilience, and inclusion lessons in classrooms across the United States and the world.
She is the CEO and director of Piglet International Inc., a nonprofit that supports the Piglet Mindset® educational program and raises awareness for rescued and disabled animals through education and fundraising.
Dr. Shapiro’s book PIGLET, The Unexpected Story of a Deaf Blind Pink Puppy and His Family was published by Simon and Schuster, Atria Books, in August 2021. A children’s book, Piglet Comes Home, was released in June 2022.
Dr. Shapiro is a speaker in the Simon and Schuster Speakers Bureau. Her entertaining and inspiring Piglet Mindset presentations are well received by children and adults in schools and other venues. Dr. Shapiro also speaks about many aspects of caring for pets with disabilities and special needs at both in person and virtual veterinary and other conferences.
A graduate of Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Shapiro completed a rotating internship at the Animal Medical Center in New York City, followed by a residency in small-animal internal medicine at the Ryan Veterinary Hospital at the University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Shapiro is the proud mother of 3 children, Rachael, Daniel, and Ellie. She lives in Westport, Connecticut, with her husband, Warren Shapiro and 8 rescued dogs.