'Pink' Rescue Dog Piglet Shares Story of Hope, Perseverance in New Book: 'It's About Finding Joy,' Says Owner

Piglet, who is deaf and blind, was rescued from a hoarding situation at just 1 lb.

Melissa & Piglet
Photo: Joan Carruthers Photography

When we first met Piglet in 2019, owner Melissa Shapiro told PEOPLE "he needs to have some bigger meaning."

Now, he does.

Today, Aug. 3, the book PIGLET: The Unexpected Life of a Deaf, Blind, Pink Puppy and His Family drops, teaching acceptance and love through the life of a dog.

You see, Piglet isn't any ordinary dog: the pink-tinged dachshund-Chihuahua mix was born at just 1 lb., deaf and blind in a Georgia home with 37 other puppies in a hoarding situation. He was sent to a shelter, where Shapiro found him and offered to foster him, eventually welcoming him into her home (with six other pups!) forever.

Shapiro, a veterinarian, tells PEOPLE, "I've always wanted to write a book about my life as a veterinarian. Becoming Piglet's mom, growing his social media pages, supporting animal rescue organizations, and inspiring children and adults to approach each day with positivity, compassion, and kindness, added a new meaningful dimension to my own story."

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With more than 250,000 Instagram followers, Piglet (with help from Shapiro) has already spread messages of love and acceptance wide. Though his early days of anxiety in his new home were "stressful," Shapiro admits, "there's nothing like pausing for a smile break with our precious pink Piglet. He lives every moment in the present with great joy, and his enthusiasm for life is contagious."

Shapiro recalls Piglet's impact was growing once "strangers from all over the world" started following the pup on social media.

"Once we adopted him, it didn't take long to realize that his heartwarming rescue story and his message of determination and positivity were a perfect combination." She continues, "Writing a book was a natural progression in sharing Piglet's relevant message with an even broader audience."

Shapiro says the book came from "the deepest part of my heart. It is sincere, authentic ... sprinkled with stories about vet medicine, animal rescue, dog training, parenting, and lots of light-hearted humor. It's about finding joy in life regardless of your circumstances or your challenges."

And thankfully, the fame hasn't gone to the little guy's head — too much.

"He is a confident, happy little dog," Shapiro says. "He has a magnetic type of charm that reflects his intense focus on connecting with his family, friends and the world around him. He soaks up attention like a true celeb. But overall, he is a down-to-earth little guy who lives each day with exemplary positivity and joy."

The book PIGLET: The Unexpected Life of a Deaf, Blind, Pink Puppy and His Family is available now.

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