This amputee dog, who was rescued from near death, has a remarkable “superpower” of sensing if others are going through some kind of pain or suffering and if they need a touch of love and care.
Meet Piggy, an exceptional dog with a “real” superpower—his unique ability to sense if others are experiencing a difficult period. On sensing it, this adorable three-legged doctor quickly runs toward them to “lend his paw” and console the person!
“He has the ability to detect when people are suffering and hiding it. And he has the ability to bring that suppressed suffering out, so people can finally let go of it,” Tod Emko, Piggy’s owner, told The Dodo.
All this started in 2009 when Piggy was rescued from the streets in the Dominican Republic. He was skinny, without fur, and covered in ticks. Emko shared that Piggy was hit by a car in the Dominican Republic at only a couple months old.
“He was left dying without any veterinary care from his wounds for a whole month before a high-volume veterinary team visited from the U.S.,” he said.
The U.S. medical team decided to amputate Piggy’s leg to spare him from lifelong pain. Piggy was then adopted by Emko, who was volunteering on the trip to the Dominican Republic. “I looked at him and he looked at me, and I knew he was somebody. I knew we needed to save him,” said Emko.
When Piggy arrived at his new home in New York, he began to impress his owner by his unusual empathetic abilities. It’s possible that Piggy’s past sufferings taught him to be receptive to others’ pain.
Emko said: “We could be in the middle of Central Park, and the person could be out of eyeshot. But Piggy would perk up and run through the crowds. Then he’ll crawl on his belly towards a person, and place one paw on them. And the person would often break into tears and say, ‘How did you know I needed that?’”
Helping others became Piggy’s second nature. “He’ll pause, his ears will perk up, he’ll get the ‘Timmy trapped down a well’ stare, and then he’ll pull me over to the person. Usually, after putting his paw on the person, he will continue to stay with them, as long as it takes, until they feel better,” said Emko.
Seeing his dog’s talent, Emko started taking Piggy to schools and hospitals to visit kids, and the adorable canine proved to be an excellent therapy dog.
“There is one encounter that I will always think of when I think of how remarkable Piggy is. One day Piggy was volunteering at iHOPE NYC for kids with severe brain injuries. And one girl we came across, the social workers said she had a huge fear of dogs. And she didn’t have much range of movement either, so do not expect her to interact with Piggy.”
When Piggy approached this kid, he performed a miracle. “He looked at her, and she looked back. And over the course of the day, she came closer. And she reached up with her arm in a brace, and reached out, her arm unsteady but determined, and began petting Piggy’s fur, and she grew a huge smile. The social workers began crying, they could not believe that scene, for so many reasons,” said Emko.
Piggy’s story inspired not only Emko and many others but also an artist, Ethan Young, who drew a comic book, called “A Piggy’s Tale,” about the special dog for educational purposes.
“He was a cartoon superhero dog holding a bag of dog food, telling kids to be a superhero for animals,” Emko said. The comic quickly became a success and is especially well received among kids with disabilities.
Piggy is an example of living life with a big heart. This cute amputee pet seemed to have learnt empathy from his own unfortunate life experiences. And surely his inherent instinct to help others must have inspired many to strive to improve their own morals and perspectives of life. Are you inspired by this cute little superhero?