When I agreed to intake Otto into K9EI, I had thought I was told he was 3 pounds with two deformed front paws.  On July 2, 2019, a group of volunteers transported him singularly from Springfield, IL to Plainfield, IL.  Each transporter checking in remark how tiny he was in size and I thought nothing of it, 3 pound Min Pin/Chi pups at 8 weeks seems normal.

Then as I opened his carrier on my driveway, I knew why they had commented he is so tiny.  Otto wasn’t 3lb’s, he is was 13 ounces.  Picking Otto upheld the same nervousness of when you pick up a 5-day old puppy, but this puppy’s eyes are open, he is walking and fully alert to his surroundings.  In fact, I placed my finger in front of him and he nipped it.  Sassy, feisty, warrior, miracle, blessing, crazy, confident easily describe this tiny tater tote of a dog.

Like so many of the other dogs we had intaken over the past 3 years who faced huge medical challenges, he had that look in his eyes that screamed, “I want to live, help me to do that”.

Sugar, Hope, Cairo, Bristol, Etta Jane, Israel, Decklin, Addison, Ivy April, Trinity taught me and every person they encountered that no matter how badly abused, neglected, ill and broken your body is; if your spirit wants to live, you will overcome.

And so Otto’s journey has begun and continues, as he gave us two scares at the beginning of August, but has since grown stronger and is now up to 1.5 pounds.

You can donate to Otto’s Fund at PayPal.Me/KEI4LIFE

You can follow his adventures in discovering the world and doing all the stuff at PudgethePit on Instagram while in his foster home until October.  Or on our Facebook page and Instagram.

Commonly Asked Questions Regarding Otto

  • Will surgery repair his front legs & paws?
    • After consulting with several vets, it appears unlikely.  Otto is not in pain and he uses the legs as the only way he knows how.  He is very mobile. The question is whether he can be fitted with a cart to enable him to balance and take the pressure off the hind legs.

      We have worked with him exercising the hind legs to strengthen them, but now with the added weight and growth, he is having to compensate by bowing out his hind legs.

      We will be consulting with an Orthopedic Specialist by the end of the month to discuss options, what more we can do to help him remain mobile without hindering any of his legs.


  • Does Otto have other health issues?
    • Yes, we are closing monitoring him for any signs of a liver shunt or Hydrocephalus.  Otto Fontenelle is very wide open leaving his brain unguarded should he fall or be struck in the head.  Due to Otto’s tiny stature, it is difficult for veterinarians to run tests. Fortunately, they were able to take blood for a test when he crashed from low glucose levels.  His glucose levels were so low the blood test couldn’t register it, however, the liver and kidney values did register “normal” as far as “normal” goes for a dog Otto’s size.


  • What does a normal day caring for Otto look like?
    • Otto starts his day around 8am.  He is feed food and NurCal mixed with water every 2 to 3 hours.  This is to aid his growth and maintain his glucose levels.
    • Otto exercises and gets socialization from his foster family.  He can safely interact with his foster dogs through an x-pen while being closely guarded by his foster Mom.
    • Otto has not been fully vaccinated and keeping his paws off the ground is important.  He will be receiving another DHPP and Bordetella at his vet visit at the end of the month, along with another blood draw.  His rabies vaccination will come later if deemed safe by his vet or he may become exempt due to the risk.
    • His foster Mom ensures his blankets, toys, carriers, food bowls/plates,  are clean to prevent any type of infection when coming into contact with him.
    • Each time Otto eats, drinks, urinates, defecates, sleeps it’s recorded in his health journal to keep the vets up to date on his development. As well to have a record should he end up in the ER again.
    • His foster Mom monitors him for temperature, behavior or physical changes such as lethargy, lack of balance, sudden vomiting or diarrhea, unwilling to eat or drink when offered.


  • When will Otto be available to adopt?
    • Otto will be available when his vets deem him healthy to the point that a burden will not be placed on the adopters.  As a rule, K9EI does not adopt dogs out until our vets have deemed the dog is healthy.  As you can imagine, with special needs dogs or serious medically ill dogs, the time leading up to adoption can be lengthy.  We want our dogs to be physically and emotionally prepared to be part of a new family and that the family can handle the responsibility & commitment emotionally and financially to provide the dog with a quality life.
    • His foster Mom’s have their hands full with this pintsize wonder, despite him growing more and more independent, he still needs assistance in facing life’s challenges.  We want Otto to be the best dog he can be and that means having the same choices and experiences as other dogs.


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1 Comment

  1. Wow..I’ve been waiting for this update.
    Thanks to ALL OF YOU.
    You are ALL my heros. And Otto’s heros as well.


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