Dog News

Month-Old Puppy Survives Alone in Woods for Two Weeks

by Melanie

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“Never considered myself a small dog type of girl, but this little baby stole my heart. Meet my first dog, Pickle.”
“Never considered myself a small dog type of girl, but this little baby stole my heart. Meet my first dog, Pickle.”



Pickle is a tiny Chiweenie whose origin remains a mystery.  All that’s known is that he was found wandering in the woods (so tiny he was believed to be a chipmunk), that he has an incredible will to live, and that he is now safe, healthy, and spoiled!

I had an opportunity to interview Kate Cook, who has shared Pickle with the world on her Instagram page.


Where was he found?

Pickle was found on the side of the road in a wooded area in North Carolina.
Were you the one who found him?

I did not personally find him.  A woman saw him while she was driving by and called animal control who picked him up.  He was so small, she thought he was a chipmunk at first!  Later, a woman named Robin from Finding Great Homes Rescue ( took him in and nursed him back to health.  Finding Great Homes Rescue is an awesome organization that rescues senior dogs and dogs with health problems that are going to be euthanized in shelters.  Unfortunately, I was not in the financial situation to be able to take in a senior dog, though I highly recommend it to those that are.  Robin also keeps a lot of puppies, and that is how I found Pickle and fell in love with him!

“Love this dog so much it hurts!”
“Love this dog so much it hurts!”

How did he come to be in the woods by himself?

Well, there’s obviously no saying for sure.  Whether he was wandering in the woods alone for days or was dropped off days before and left to die is unclear.  What is for certain is his condition when he was found.  He had a big puppy belly when he was found, which typically would indicate that he was well fed and simply lost.  However, when he was dewormed, it became immediately clear that his belly was full on worms.  The moment they were out of his system, he was skin and bones.  I wish I had a picture to show you because it was so heartbreaking to see his ribs, spine and pelvis showing under his skin.

This is the reason I call him a badass.  It is a miracle that he survived. When he was found, he weighed under two pounds. Dogs are hunters by nature, and therefore their bodies are adapted to periods of feast and famish.  Dogs can typically go a few days without eating and be okay (although always feed your pet!).  In order for a dog to become so skeletal, they must have been starving for much much longer.  Also, with small breeds like Pickle, puppies can sometimes get low blood sugar.  They have the metabolism of a hummingbird– they have to eat every hour or so or else they get weak and tired, and if they don’t get food they can die.  Not only did Pickle survive the exhausting and disorienting low blood sugar, he did so for many days– and at only a few weeks old!  The vet who originally checked him out said he must have a very strong will to live, and I would absolutely have to agree with that.

“I told Pickle he went viral on imgur and Facebook, and I think it went to his head. This is his new floral throne.”
“I told Pickle he went viral on imgur and Facebook, and I think it went to his head. This is his new floral throne.”

What’s he like?

Luckily, it only takes a few days for dogs to plump back up!  Pickle has gained some weight and has a big round belly now.  He is definitely going through his teething phase, so he wants to chew on everything in sight, but mostly my fingers and toes.  He is as sweet as he looks, that’s for sure.  At night he curls up on my chest and falls asleep while I read until it is time for him to go in his kennel.  I can’t say no to those puppy eyes.  The first day I had him I made him a scrambled egg and he LOVED it– so I made him breakfast those first few days.  Pickle is always energetic and excited to see me when I get home, he just wants to run and play.
How’s he doing now?

Right now he is happy and healthy.  Because of how small and sick he was, the vet recommends he doesn’t go outside until we finish his vaccinations, which is in a little over three weeks.  He is still a baby and sleeps a lot, but I know once he gets bigger he will want to go on long walks and sniff everything in sight– so I think we are both looking forward to that!