5 Things I Want My Dog To Know About Being The Runt

Shihtzu and maltese puppy walking with wagging tail

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To my favorite runt,

When I saw you at the shelter with all of your puppy siblings, I noticed that you were smaller, and that your big brothers and sisters made it hard for you to get to your mother for milk and affection. But I also saw that you had a fighting spirit, and that you had to work hard to get what you needed. It was that spirit that drew me to you, and when you were old enough to be adopted, I took you in. I knew that we would be best friends for life, and that you could forget the past as you joined my family. Never ever feel bad about who you are because my love for you grows every day. Here are some things I want you to know about being the runt of the litter.

1. You’re Going To Grow Up Big Like All Your Brothers And Sisters

Portrait Of Cute Mixed Breed Puppy

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Have you ever heard of Clifford the Big Red Dog? I will read his stories to you soon. He was the runt of the litter, too, and he grew up to be the biggest dog of all. Sure, he’s just a dog in storybooks, but it’s not unusual for runts of the litter to grow up just as big or even bigger than their siblings. You’re going to get the best food, and I’ll make it myself to be sure that you get the proper nutrition for a growing pup. Even if you don’t end up growing to be quite as big as your siblings, I will love you just the same.

2. If You Get Sick, I’ll Take Care Of You

Adorable border collie puppy looks at a stethoscope hanging from the neck of a veterinarian sitting beside the puppy.

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Sometimes the runt of the litter doesn’t get the proper antibodies from their mother’s milk, and that can cause health problems later on. If that happened to you, know that I will take such good care of you. I will take you to the best veterinarians and, if need be, give you any medicine they prescribe. You may hear some scary terms, like heart defect, liver shunt, parasites, or hernias. These can sometimes affect the runt of the litter, but I will make you as comfortable as possible so that you can live a happy and healthy life.

3. You’ll Never Have To Compete For Love Or Food

6 weeks old great dane puppy eating

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While you may have been denied food or affection from your mother or your siblings, you will never have to compete again so long as you are with me. Many runts are pushed aside by their brothers and sisters, and sometimes mother dogs are not as attentive as they are for their other pups. This is nature’s way of making sure the fittest survive. I don’t care what nature says because you are the fittest in my eyes. You’ll never miss a meal. You’ll never go without loving contact. You will have everything you need and more.

4. You Are More Resilient Because Of Who You Are

Funny pug dog on the bench

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Your brothers and sisters probably never had to fight just to get a meal from mom. You, on the other hand, had to earn everything you got. You had to push your way in and scrap with bigger pups just to survive. Unlike your siblings, you can appreciate how hard it can be to get what you need, and you know what a gift it is to have it. This has made you strong. You can handle hardship, and you can be all the more grateful when you don’t have to face hardship any more. Some may see you as the weakest of the litter, but know that you are the strongest.

5. You Are Wanted

Maltese dog

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I don’t know if you ever felt like your siblings or your mother didn’t want you, but I want you to know that I chose you. Specifically, I took you in over any of the other puppies or dogs at the shelter, including your brothers and sisters. I saw what you were and what you would become, and I wanted you in my life, in my home, and in my family. I will never give you up, no matter what. You are wanted, and I’m so happy to have you.

To the humans that read this, have you ever adopted a runt? What would you recommend for keeping a runt of the litter happy and healthy? Let us know in the comments below!