Prancer, "a chucky doll in a dog's body"
April 27, 2021 11:25 AM   Subscribe

or maybe "not a real dog, but more like a vessel for a traumatized Victorian child that now haunts our home", needed a very specific type of adopter. His desperate foster mother took to the internet with an adoption post that went viral on Twitter and, soon, everywhere. But could anyone provide a home for such a demonic creature?

Yes. Prancer now lives with a nice lady and his internet success has helped other small gremlin dogs from his rescue find their own homes.
posted by Hypatia (19 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
Yay! There’s a home for every dog.
posted by obfuscation at 11:41 AM on April 27

What a sweet story. I have a couple of single friends who enjoy the company of their neurotic but loving tiny dog cohabitants very much, so I feel it is a thing out there. Heck, I could have signed up for Prancer if not for the fact that my dog is the opposite of neurotic (what is the name for that?) and they would perhaps not have gotten along.
posted by mumimor at 11:45 AM on April 27

I was so happy that there'd been an update on We Rate Dogs's Instagram. I immediately went to look at the pics of Prancer in his new home on his new Instagram, he seems happy.

There are no bad dogs, only bad owners. I've fostered some dogs that were deeply, deeply troubled, and it always breaks my heart that someone could do those things to them. I'm sure his original owner didn't mean harm, but it's so tough to adopt dogs like that out. So glad to see one dog find his perfect home and get a happy ending.
posted by kitten kaboodle at 11:46 AM on April 27 [13 favorites]

A friend of mine sent me this post last week. It's perfect.

I wish every homeless pet could get this kind of attention. I just adopted a 9 year old dog last week, on Thursday. I've been following Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary on instagram for a few years, and it wasn't until their posts showing off the personalities of their little crusty critters that I even considered ever getting an adult dog, let alone an elderly one.

Kuiper doesn't like men or children, has less than half his teeth left, and is on prozac to manage whatever demonic noises and shaking fury surely plagued him at the shelter. But he's smart, affectionate with me, and learning to get along with my other dog Truman, also now 9 years old, and he gets to be here forever. Because the internet showed me how to love old nervous dogs.
posted by phunniemee at 11:54 AM on April 27 [38 favorites]

That "sneering face" pic though...

posted by Windopaene at 12:27 PM on April 27 [3 favorites]

My in-law has a chihuahua and I always hear horror stories about how territorial and dominating she is (the dog, not the in-law). I just can't get the appeal, but family is family, I guess. I can connect on a deep psychic level with pugs, though, whose main weaknesses seem to be snacks and surprise tummy rubs.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 1:03 PM on April 27

We have a rescue Terrier mix, and despite a TON of training and a lot of professional help, there are some habits -- barking at trucks, and total lack of proper dog social skills -- that we can't break. My wife is frustrated, but she also doesn't want to medicate him.

He's not quite Prancer-grade material, but if we had known, we might have passed him up. ...Which would have been a shame, because he's deeply devoted to my wife, and kinda likes me, too. :7)
posted by wenestvedt at 1:07 PM on April 27 [3 favorites]

I'm sure his original owner didn't mean harm,

The story of the BEC stuck in his crate actually made me kind of sad. I bet she loved him, just didn't have the skills to socialize him.

I'm so happy Prancer has made it home. Now people can stop sending his story to me!!! (Way to express your faith that I'll ever date again post-pandemic, guys!)
posted by praemunire at 1:12 PM on April 27 [9 favorites]

MetaFilter: (the dog, not the in-law)
posted by elkevelvet at 1:17 PM on April 27 [8 favorites]

This is when we started to see the severity of his guarding issues with men and other animals," she said. "He knows what is acceptable and what’s not, but his rage takes over sometimes. It’s like his mind just lets Jesus (Satan?) take the wheel."

I definitely couldn't judge this poor boy & I don't think anyone can. If I didn't have a hubby & cats I think prancer and I would get along just fine.
posted by bleep at 1:46 PM on April 27

Mod note: Two comments removed for violating the guidelines, particularly "Be sensitive to context": Avoid analogies or hypotheticals in charged discussions; these often involve ignoring or distorting the actual context of the conversation.
posted by loup (staff) at 1:53 PM on April 27 [2 favorites]

I had similar dog, a miniature poodle. She feared men, children, and dogs to the point that she would run away if she could, growl if leashed or trapped, and go into barking frenzy they actually tried to approach despite the growling. We chose her at a rescue event because she seemed so sweet and mild-mannered, turns out she was actually traumatized by all the other dogs around her and was trying to be small and find a protective lady-person to rescue her.

We did not realize she hated all men at first, because she did not classify husband as "man" for years, until she was ancient and he got sick. She would sit on him as a second choice if I wasn't available, she slept between us on our bed, etc. But if any other masculine person came within her line of sight she was hostile.

Then the first time husband came back after several days in the hospital, he was reclassifed as 'man' and became the enemey. She followed him around, growling at him from across the room or around the corner, snapping at him if he walked too close, etc. It was horrible for him to have her suddenly turn against him, when he was already in agony from shingles and MRSA in his lungs.
posted by buildmyworld at 2:17 PM on April 27 [10 favorites]

I admit, I was so distracted by the setup paragraphs of the article that I had to stop there and ponder for a bit before I got the lovely doggie-finds-their-human part. I mean, I know that just like many other non-physically-addictive things that pot can cause serious issues in your life, but two years in a marijuana rehab?

But I'm very glad that Prancer found a home!
posted by tavella at 2:29 PM on April 27 [8 favorites]

Given that she's employed at the rehab center now, one assumes that the *entire* two years wasn't just coming out of the addiction.

We have a Chihuahua mix, but other than the physical stuff (bug eyes, violent trembling when afraid or excited or just kind of because) she doesn't have a lot of the stereotypical stuff. She *is* a little nervous and definitely has that small-dog follow-the-human-everywhere-just-in-case habit. She also clearly has a ranking system for all the humans she knows and will always follow the current Top of the Leaderboard from room to room, so you can tell when she's mad at you.
posted by Scattercat at 5:46 PM on April 27 [6 favorites]

Bless your cotton socks, phunniemee. You’ve always been one of my metafilter faves, but now even more so. Happy days ahead for Kuiper!
posted by Salamander at 7:26 PM on April 27 [1 favorite]

I’ve loved dogs since I was 3, but have only had one, from ages 10-24, and didn’t do such a hot job with him, though I sometimes comfort myself that I encouraged him to figure out for himself what he wanted to do and didn’t punish him for disobeying me except when the stakes were his or someone else's safety — and I think he learned to tell when that’s what I thought.

But these latter days I look around at dogs and I can’t help feeling that we’ve done them wrong by distorting their minds and bodies the way we have, and that their bodies, personalities, and the lives they lead are a living, walking indictment of the human species, and Chihuahuas are certainly part of that.
posted by jamjam at 8:43 PM on April 27 [3 favorites]

I can't find a clip, but one of my favourite bits in King of the Hill was the episode where Bill somehow winds up taking care of a violent dog he refuses to acknowledge is dangerous. At one point in desperation he drugs the dog, it falls asleep in his bathtub and starts twitching and whimpering a bit the way animals do when it seems like they're dreaming. Bill's like "Ohhh, that's so cute!" and it cuts to the dog's dream, which is of mauling Bill.
posted by The Card Cheat at 5:21 AM on April 28 [2 favorites]

I don't know how to resist the appeal of a dog who tells you, in their own way, that "The rest of these people are terrible, but you I like."
posted by Flexagon at 11:27 AM on April 28 [4 favorites]

I kind of suspect that's the appeal of "bad boys" as well, Flexagon.

In other news, Prancer has now made the NYT.
She wrote in her email to the center that she was brought to “near tears” reading about him, and that he reminded her of her previous dogs.
“I am open and loving to all dispositions,” she wrote.
When asked in the application survey what issues could cause her to have to return the dog, she replied: “None, save my own death.”
The adoption went through.
On April 17, a Saturday, Ms. Davis was given an appointment and drove two hours to meet Prancer. Intent on a soft entry, she had researched how to handle “small, neurotic dogs,” she said. When she arrived at the center, she made no eye contact with him. She spoke only to staff members at first, letting Prancer get accustomed to her being in the room.
The union was sealed, even though he was not too fond of being petted, she said. When they returned to her apartment, Ms. Davis adapted to Prancer, rather than the other way around.
She keeps his toys minimal (“he is not really a toy dog”) and she has learned to devote a solid 10 minutes to doggy kisses when she gets home from work, where the flexible hours mean she can “take care of my little demon monster.”
With the benefit of some time together, “I can see how the ad is very accurate,” Ms. Davis said. “If I had a bunch of dogs and cats, he would be wild, crazy and demonic. But he is an only child right now. He is very content to hang out and be peaceful.”
The rest is internet history.
Now, Prancer has his own Instagram account with more than 50,000 followers on Wednesday. His photo collection shows him clearly living his best life. He wears a bow tie, cuddles on blankets, has a wardrobe that includes at least one collared shirt, takes car rides and trips to McDonald’s and commands attention in the middle of a room, appearing, of course, like a very good, and only mildly demonic, boy.
As Ms. Davis and Prancer continued their morning walk during the interview, Ms. Davis agreed to put the dog on speaker phone, to see whether hearing his name could get him to wag his tail.
He had no reaction at all, Ms. Davis said.
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:26 PM on April 28 [2 favorites]

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