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). Melissa — along with Piglet — will read from her book and share the Piglet Mindset!
One of the most anxious dogs Melissa had ever encountered, the traumatized Piglet weighed under two pounds upon his welcome into the Shapiro household. After weeks of reassurance, and lots of love, Piglet connected, gained confidence, and his extraordinary spirit emerged. Melissa soon forged a powerful bond with Piglet, allowing the two to communicate without sound or visual cues.
Two months later, when the day arrived to say good-bye to the now dashing, six-pound pink boy dog with the larger than life spirit, Melissa faced a heart-wrenching decision. Could she hand him over to someone willing to give Piglet the full-time attention he required or could she adapt her schedule and her household to make a permanent place for him in her life and work? Of course, the answer was simple: love would find a way.
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 the Connecticut state representative for the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association.
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.