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Pup So Tiny, Starved & Bloated, Kids Think She's Rat. See Her All Grown Up and Healthy

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I don’t think it’s any surprise that people prefer pretty pets. Aside from the health issues that can hound a malformed dog or cat, its nice to own an animal that makes others ooh and aah.

That’s why its so important to have people willing to provide a home for less eye-catching critters. I mean, let’s face it: Most pets don’t meet the perfect pedigree standard.

Then there are animals who’ve been abused, abandoned, or neglected. Don’t they need a home, too?

Tré and Alicia Mathis are one couple who answered that question with a resounding “yes!” Residents of Petworth, a Washington, D.C., neighborhood, they’d heard a strange story about an animal that had wandered into a nearby backyard while some children were playing there.

According to Floor8, the kids thought a rat had crawled under the fence — only it wasn’t a rat at all. Rather, they soon realized he was looking at a very tiny and very hungry pit bull puppy.

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The owner of the property contacted Alicia, knowing she’d been looking for a rescue dog. But no amount of anticipation could prepare her for the moment she saw her new pooch.

“I gasped at how small she was,” she told the Petworth News. “I had never seen a dog so small.”

Tré added, “She was literally the size of a rat, especially a Petworth rat.” The Mathises walked around the area, looking for the puppy’s mother or someone who’d lost a very tiny dog.

When they failed to come up with any leads, they brought “Stray Puppy” (the dog’s new, hastily decided name) back to their home. Stray Puppy snoozed her first night away in a blanket-lined plastic tub.

A trip to the vet the next day revealed that Stray Puppy was in a bad way. Far too young to be separated from her mother and with a stomach distended by worms, she shouldn’t have survived.

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Looking at the decidedly unattractive little dog, Tré said, “She looks like a pear.” However, he and Alicia soon settled on another name that better fit the dog’s appearance: Pumpkin the Petworth Pitbull.

It took six long weeks for Pumpkin to regain her full health. During that time, Alicia created an Instagram account to chronicle the puppy’s growth.

She hoped it would showcase Pumpkin’s resilience. But she also had an ulterior motive.

The family already owned a boxer named Laila, and they were aware of the stigma attached to pit bulls.

“I want her to be an ambassador of well-behaved dogs,” Alicia said. “We hope she changes everybody’s mind about pit bulls.”

Indeed, Pumpkin might do just that. With her hazel eyes and a love of naps, Pumpkin is just the representative her breed needs.

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A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine.
A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine. Most days find him crafting copy for corporate and small-business clients, but he also occasionally indulges in creative writing. His short fiction has appeared in a number of anthologies and magazines. Loren currently lives in south Florida with his wife and three children.
Education
Wheaton College
Location
Florida
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Entertainment, Faith, Travel




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