At just 6 months old, she’s already accumulated a closet full of custom-tailored clothes that could put even the most fashionable of collectors to shame.
From formal fur-collared polka-dot party dresses for the Christmas season, to handmade frilly fleece-lined onesie jammies for casual cold weather lounging, she’s accumulated a rack of outfits doubling the quantity owned by any of her siblings.
As the youngest of 12, it’d be easy to assume the wardrobe accumulated courtesy of communal hand-me-downs. But sharing gets complicated when you wear a size so small they don’t even make things in it for your species.
For many of her first few months, Mini was relegated to wearing only the finest of frocks fitted for ferrets – and other sized-down fashions finagled by her owner Lori Elrod. Dog clothes couldn’t come small enough to fit the now 3-pound hairless Chinese crested, born 3-ounces and no larger than her owner’s thumb.
“I didn’t even know they made ferret clothes, but they do,” Lori said. “And for a while they were all that would fit.”
Lori and her husband Bill have bred the hairless pups (and their fluffy “Powder Puff” coated counterparts) from their Orlando-area home for more than six years, but never birthed a surviving dog so small. Vets told the couple not to get too attached to the tiny newborn puppy – born so small she’d found ways to escape through the quarter-sized holes of her litter’s laundry bin playpen.
But Mini quickly earned her sizably appropriate name, and a strong-willed reputation. She soon gained fans online, who both rooted for her health and sent the Elrods the smallest of animal outfits they could find to fit her little four-legged body – the start of her ever-growing wardrobe.
After months of possible contention for the title of world’s smallest dog, Mini surpassed expectations, topping out at 3-pounds 2-ounces full grown – the average Chinese crested usually weighing in between 8 and 12 pounds. Mini wound up tripling the record, currently held by a 1-pound Chihuahua in Puerto Rico named Miracle Milly.
Though too big for the record books, she’s still found a way to bring in awards, placing on top of many a pet costume contest this past October, including the annual Doggie Door-hosted event on Park Avenue. Her natural black-and-white coiffed Mohawk dyed pink flitted in the breeze as she drove around Central Park as a rock star sitting comfortably behind the wheel of a hot-pink Barbie car.
As Mini takes her tiny fur-trimmed feet to the sidewalks of Park Avenue today, Linda’s quick to point out the notable prance in her dog’s small-but-certain stride that just seems to scream diva. But Mini’s happy to oblige passersby who frequently stop to question her breed and pose with her for pictures, her tiny tongue quick to lick any admirer’s face.
“[Mini]’s a 150-pound Rottweiler in a 3-pound body … She has no idea how small, or how spoiled, she is,” Bill said. “It’s a good thing too because it’d go straight to her head, and she’s already got an ego the size of Texas.”