When I heard that a two-year-old Chihuahua named Prancer was labeled America’s Worst Dog, I was sure it was an exaggeration and wondered if the person had met Pocket.
Poor Prancer was having a hard time getting adopted because of his bad attitude. He had lived with an older woman, and he never left the house, was obese, and not socialized. When she passed away and went to a foster home, he kept to himself, rejecting any offer of affection. The foster mom accepted the little dog for how he was. But then came a change.
First, Prancer became neurotic, shaking when anyone approached him. Then his real personality began to shine through, which his foster mom described as “a vessel for a traumatized Victorian child that now haunts our home.”
He hated men and would not let his foster mom’s husband come near him. He was also terrible with other animals, often attacking them, including the family cat, who Prancer liked to pick up in his mouth and shake. He had never been around children, but since he demanded being the sole object of affection in the house, any child in his path would be in danger.
Prancer was in desperate need of a new home, but he wasn’t the one who prayed to me; it was his foster mom who wanted this little ball of hate out of her house. She stressed to me that Prancer was loyal, primarily out of selfishness, and was leashed trained. Outside of that, she could not think of a good reason why the dog should be adopted.
I flew down to visit the dog and told him that I was working on finding him a forever home. “Don’t bother with me,” Prancer said, putting out a cigarette out with his paw. “I figure I’ve been sentenced to life in this prison. I’m not concentrating on getting out, just making everyone who lives here my bitch.”
I knew that any dog who wanted to be adopted needed a hook, and I realized what Prancer should be. He was unadoptable. I popped into his mom’s dreams and said that instead of her thinly veiled platitudes about the dog, she couldn’t stand she should post her honest opinion of the pup.
She put a profile picture of Prancer, looking his angriest, on Twitter, with an honest description of the dog who she described as a “man-hating, children hating, animal hating, neurotic who looks like a gremlin.” She said he was only two years old and would probably live to 21, just out of spite. It was the worst description of a dog anyone had ever read, and it worked like a charm.
Some people like a challenge and to prove that they can do what other people cannot. Offers for Prancer came pouring into the rescue. The best eligible mom was a lesbian, so there was no chance of living with a man unless the woman lived on a sitcom. She had no other animals. Prancer would be back to being an only dog with an only mom. Fortuna, his foster, who posted the description, picked this woman to be Prancer’s mom. Fortuna said after years of fostering that it was her favorite adoption, and not just because the little ball of hate had been exorcised from her house.
Prancer is doing well in his new home, and not just that he is the lone recipient of his mom’s affection, but because I found his first mom, who now visits him every day and keeps him calm and happy. Prancer had rejected her visits before. He was angry that she left. But, now that he was with only one person, he opened his heart again.
And again, I fulfilled my angel duty, not only by helping Prancer gets adopted but by proving that honesty is a far better policy, even when trying to find a home for the dog from hell.