World’s smallest dog defies the odds

This video shows Hope to be quite a handful, both figuratively and literally. While this toy poodle looks more like a tiny kitten, she shows that she has spunk, and she’s actually not that easy to contain. Hope is so energetic and needs to be watched with full attention at all times.

Everything seems to be a game to her, biting and playing like it is all she wants to do all day. It hasn’t always been that way for Hope, though. According to Rodney Mclean, one of the founders of K911 Animal Ambulance, Hope was born with a rare condition called dwarfism. It is an underdevelopment of the body and happens to one in a billion dogs born.

Hope barely weighed 32 grams and was about the size of a small lighter when she was born. She actually had to be tube-fed in the first 5 weeks of her life to ensure that she was properly nourished. Dogs with Hope’s condition rarely live beyond 24-48 hours, so it was something just a bit short of a miracle that she survived.

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When Mclean took over her care, he became the doting parent who checked on her every 3 hours to make sure that she was okay. At the time that the video was taken, Hope was 4 months old and weighed 11 ounces. In the video, she’s a picture of health and limitless energy.

We’re also told that she has not grown or added weight in 2-3 weeks. At the rate that she was growing, or not growing in this case, Mclean predicted that she’d probably weigh 13 ounces full grown. Hope was smaller than the smallest dog recorded by Guinness, which weighed around 2 pounds.

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Veterinarians refer to a chart for monitoring dogs’ growth, but Hope is way too small. Her weight range is not even in the chart. A normal dog of her age and breed would weigh around 3-4 pounds. With her heartwarming personality and playful disposition, this dog shows to the world that hope, life and optimism can come even in tiny bundles.

Mclean promised to share Hope’s progress with videos and updates. Unfortunately, Hope didn’t live to make her next shoot. She died shortly after this short clip was produced and published. Years after the video first came out, it still made viewers smile, probably because it’s not only about cuteness and smallness.

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Hope’s video was about living against the odds, and living it with zest. It was also very inspiring to find people devoting their time and taking care of animals with difficult conditions. Except for dogs purposely bred to be genetic dwarfs, dwarfism almost always means poor long-term prognosis and shorter life spans.

Dogs with dwarfism often develop more serious health issues, such as infections, disorders in the respiratory system, kidney problems and degenerative diseases. Since the condition involves skeletal deformities, underdevelopment, discomfort and even pain, very few dog owners find it worthwhile to raise pets diagnosed with this developmental abnormality. For Hope and the people who took care of her, however, we saw that it was all worthwhile.

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