Tiniest Working Dog Comforts Seniors, Wows Fans

The tiniest working dog in the world hails from South Jersey. She's so tiny she fits in the palm of a baseball glove.

At just 2.5 pounds and 5.7 inches tall, a micro Yorkshire Terrier named Lucy packs a big punch. She was taken in by chance by her dogmom and Absecon native Sally Montufar 5 years ago. 

"I’m pushing 60-years-old and I’ve never lived without a dog. I come from a family of dog lovers. I mostly had big dogs, labs. I just happened to be standing at the right place at the right time. She went from homeless to a world record," said Montufar, an adjunct professor at Rowan University.

In 2011, the Guinness Book of World Records certified Lucy as the smallest working dog. She stole the title away from a 6-pound search and rescue dog in Japan.

Lucy's 7,000 Facebook fans keep up with her activities by reading about her adventures on the LUCY Smallest Working Dog Facebook page. Last week, she posed in a sailor suit during a rainstorm.

She sticks her tongue out all the time due to a breed defect. Montafur prefers to call her tongue a 'feature' because it sends a good message to the students she meets and people she greets.

"No one is perfect. Her tongue doesn't take anything from her," said Montafur.

Lucy visits hospice patients and school children. Her show consists of dog tricks, agility, lap hugs and a message of acceptance. Montafur's car has turned into a traveling circus car as the storage area for the props and agility course.

"She just is amazing. You see these elderly frail people and their eyes just light up when they see her," said Robyn Van Dusen of Caring Hospice of Philadelphia.

Montafur took Lucy in on a whim when she was visiting Paw Dazzle in Smithville. A woman walked in with the scrawny pup. The chance meeting turned into a new journey for Lucy and Sally.

Lucy's weight has doubled and after a year of training she became a working dog. Like most pooches, Lucy likes to play outside, to do tricks and anything for food.

Lucy's upcoming appearances include two shows for hospice patients at the Simpson House and Hayes Manor in Philadelphia on May 22 and at the Phillies' Bark in the Park on May 24. Montafur hopes Lucy's story will inspire others to adopt a pet.

"She's not a fearful dog even though she's so tiny. She's so affectionate," Montafur said. 

Contact Sarah Glover at 610-668-5580, sarah.glover@nbcuni.com or follow @skyphoto on Twitter.

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