Remember Prancer the Chihuahua who embodied not only a “haunted Victorian child” but also was described as a “Chucky doll in a dog’s body?” Well, he has found his forever home and has been adopted!
Ariel Davis, 36, from New Haven, Connecticut, was browsing Facebook when she came across Tyfanee Fortuna’s brutally honest and hilarious adoption ad for Prancer. While Davis found the listing amusing and thought Prancer was cute, it hit her that she really related to Prancer’s story.
“I had a dog that I adopted probably about seven years ago and I raised him from a puppy and he was a Chihuahua/Jack Russel Terrier mix,” she exclusively told TODAY. “He had a lot of the same qualities as Prancer, he was a little neurotic and he barked a lot and he didn’t work well with other people and other animals. I spent a lot of time working with him and understanding his personality and learning about myself through him."
Unfortunately, Davis had to surrender Doodle and her other dog, Blue, when she went to rehab for marijuana addiction a few years back. Doodle and Blue were re-homed to new, loving families while she spent two years in the rehabilitation facility where she now works.
“I’ve come to the point in my life where I’m stable enough to now have dogs again,” she explained, sharing with TODAY that she has been clean for nearly three years. “I talked to all the people in my community, my sponsor, my network, my therapist, and they all agreed that they were at the point where I could look into having a dog. I read the article, I connected to it, and I was like you know what, why not? I’ll just send them an email. What’s the worst that could happen?”
Davis emailed the Second Chance Pet Adoption League to inquire whether or not Prancer had found his forever home and received a touching message back. In the email, which Davis shared with TODAY, she told her personal story, and why she connected with Prancer, who reminded her so much of her dog Doodle.
“Reading about Prancer brought back intense memories of the dog I still love so much,” she wrote in the email to the adoption center. “They were very similar in demeanor and looking into Prancer's eyes in those pictures I saw the little sh-t Doodle I love so much (I say this lovingly!)… I am not looking to replace Doodle, but I am looking for a companion that I can take proper care of and give a loving home.”
Davis felt as though she checked off all of the boxes for Prancer’s needs and requirements, explaining, “I’m a single woman, I’m a single lesbian, I live with another woman, I don’t have any men in my life, I work in a women’s rehab, I don’t have any other animals. It just felt like a perfect match… and the rest is history.”
Shortly after, Davis made the trip from New Haven down to her old stomping grounds in New Jersey after arranging a meetup with Prancer, Fortuna and Stephanie Pearl from Second Chance Pet Adoption League. Their meetup turned into a meet-cute pretty fast, especially since Davis brought Prancer’s favorite food with her to make a good impression.
“I got there and we just connected,” she said. “Prancer took pretty well to me. Eventually, I took Prancer for a walk and he wasn’t nipping at me or biting at my heels. We just got along. With my story and the fact that I didn’t come off as incredibly crazy just kind of meshed and everything seemed to go well. He went home with me that day. He was a perfect little gentleman in the car.”
"We’re one week into the adoption and he’s really changed my life, too.”
Davis has had Prancer for a week now and says that he's been doing well in his new home so far. “He is a small, neurotic dog and it’s been hard coming from a chaotic home," she said. "The first day he was adjusting, he just hung out and gathered his bearings.”
Despite having some of his more neurotic qualities, Davis says that Prancer really is a sweet and loving dog. “He’s actually really great on walks,” she said. “I’ve walked by people; there’s been other animals that have been on the other side of the street, he just kind of ignores them… We’re one week into the adoption and he’s really changed my life, too. We’re both adjusting.”
When asked what she was looking forward to most about having Prancer in her life now, Davis answered simply, “Having a companion.”
“I’m a homebody, too. I’d rather stay home than socialize, but he’s helped me get out of the house actually and we go on walks and I want to take him to the beach,” she said. “He’s helping me get out of my shell and one of my goals is to help him become more adjusted to seeing other people.”
Davis has already brought Prancer to work where there are around 15 to 20 other women. During their first meeting, which included lots of treats, she held him the whole time while he met around seven to 10 of the women in the facility, behaving like a gentleman.
“It wasn’t really intense; everyone kept a distance and said hello and gave him a little pet and met the celebrity,” she joked. “He met the people who were really important to me and my recovery and my story."
Pearl, a representative for Second Chance Pet Adoption League, told TODAY via email that the team has worked around the clock the past few weeks sifting through applications to find the perfect home for Prancer. His fame, while time-consuming, did lead to some good: Around 10 other dogs have been adopted since his post went viral, with more meetings scheduled for their “little quirkier dogs” scheduled for this week.
“Susie, another Chihuahua we had had since December with a similar personality and needs to Prancer went home this week which is very exciting,” she explained. “We have had quite a few new surrenders and rescues from local shelters come in the past couple weeks also and that’s what we do- as soon as one dog gets adopted it makes space in a foster for us to help another!”
While Prancer’s time at Second Chance Adoption League was fleeting, his memory will live on through the nonprofit's newest fundraiser featuring Prancer’s mug on various shirts and sweatshirts to support the organization.
As for fans of Prancer who want to keep up with his story, don’t worry. Davis has created an Instagram account dedicated to Prancer and his journey... for when he’s up to it.
“I did make an Instagram for him and I would love to keep everybody in the loop and upload pictures, but I do think that it is important for him to live a normal lifestyle. He is a dog; he’s no Grumpy Cat,” she said. “We’re both taking it one day at a time, as long as he’s not under any pressure and as long as he’s getting along. We’ll see!”