This Little Piggy Has Wheels

Posted by Pia

Our companion animals have a knack for breaking through barriers on many levels. While they challenge us on a personal level -- reminding us to live in the moment and to offer compassion freely -- they can challenge stereotypes on a broader level as well.

A colleague recently sent me this lovely, compelling video about April Hollingsworth and her canine companion, a pit bull mix named Piggy. It captures all of the above and more. The paralysis of Piggy's back legs has in many ways proved to be anything but limiting.

Video Courtesy of

Let Piggy be an example to us all. I hesitate to call her paralysis a "disability" because it seems to have made her even more "able" to spread the love and acceptance that comes so naturally to her. April, who adopted Piggy from a shelter years before her accident, also sets a powerful example. She didn't allow misinformation or prejudices about shelter dogs, a breed or even a "disability" to influence her choices. And she is sharing these valuable life lessons with the rest of us -- an action for which I am grateful.

I have always believed that compassion breeds compassion. Piggy and April are a true testament to this sentiment.

In kinship,

Dr. Pia Salk

Comments (7)

  • Hello Dr. Pia,
    My Mom and Dad tell me of a dog before me in their lives named Cinder. She got bone cancer and had to have one of her rear legs amputated. She adjusted very well they say and lived almost 3 most years. It is so nice that Piggy has someone that loves her that much. It is so neat that she visits hospitals too and helps those people. Congratulation Piggy. You are a superhero!!!!

    Love & licks,

  • Hello ladies, Kirby here.
    My Mommy and Daddy told me about the Chow Chows they had before me. One’s name was Bear and the other’s was Kody. When Bear was old and had problems getting around, young Kody would walk next to Bear when Bear wanted to go up, or down, the stairs. Bear would lean on Kody for support. Kody was not trained to do this, he just did it on his own. Kody took very good care of Bear for about a year before Bear passed. If animals can see other’s needs; why can’t humans? If you see a need, do something to help. You shouldn’t have to be “trained” in helping others.
    Catch you later, Kirby.

  • What a wonderful and inspiring story of Piggy! Admiration to April and a deep-felt Thanks for allowing Piggy to live and serve a purpose for others..
    I loved this story...thanks for sharing it Dr.Pia

    Kirby comments:
    "If animals can see others needs; why can't humans?"
    I think because animals don't judge, that seems to get in the way with humans.

  • Hi Dr. Pia, Thanks for another terrific blog about this dog named Piggy who is so lucky to be alive thanks to his wonderful Mom. He is certainly a good example of a dog who has been well treated and therefore is well behaved around others. If everyone who has a dog treated it kindly we wouldn't have any problem dogs anymore. Great video! Jan

  • I recently met a dog at a local fundraiser that after being hit by a car had to have both back legs amputated.He really was the star of the whole day. Many people looked at him with sorrow, but he just loved the attention and was the happiest there!He had no help and just walked about with two legs...absolutely incredible! Lovely to watch April and Piggy, thank you :)

  • What an amazing, inspiring story. It's wonderful that there are so many options to allow handicapped dogs to get around on their own. That's always the preferable choice – but even when that's not an option, there are still workarounds in the form of carts and carriers. Used to be owners would write off their dog's chances at quality of life if they should develop a handicap; now, with ingenuity and dedication, there's nothing standing in the way.

  • That's a wonderful story! In the new house where I live, one of my 'sisters' has an illness called Degenerative Myelopathy. She has trouble using her back legs. My new mom got her a cart, and my new Auntie made it all pink and pretty for her, because pink is Demi's signature color. Demi does not like to use her cart yet, because she can still walk. It looks wobbly and kinda sad, but she can still do it. She does not like any of us to feel sorry for her.

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