Trees are much happier in the ground. Norfolk pine doesn't sound like a good pick for around here, but I'm no expert. I did find this: http://www.floridata.com/ref/a/arau_het.cfm
Ignore their suggestion on staking.
The dog may have done you a favor. Trees usually come with too much soil covering the root flare. I would say this is true 99% of the time. Remove all the soil above the roots. If there are any girdling roots, cut them. It is difficult because you think you are hurting the tree, but actually, you are helping the tree. Search the library (on www.dirtdoctor.com
) for "root flare" and or "tree planting.â€ I think the tree will be fine if you plant it properly. Do not put anything back in the hole (or pot if you are keeping it as a houseplant) except the same dirt (or same type if it is to stay in a pot) that came out of it. Make sure you soak the root ball before putting it in. It is impossible to plant a tree too high. Remember to plant with the root flare about 2 inches above the ground (or top of planter). The tree will settle some.