Some dogs go through a lot of hardship in life, suffering from human neglect. But thankfully there are also people in the world willing to give these dogs a second chance and the love they deserve.
That’s the story of one dog who went through so much but never lost her smile — and now finally has something to really smile about.
Last month, No Dog Left Behind, a Minnesota dog rescue, shared the story of a dog called “Smile,” named because she always has a smile on her face.
But while she looks happy, Smile has actually been through a lot of hard times. She was rescued from a hoarding situation in Tijuana, Mexico. The rescue found 23 dogs and 21 cats suffering from poor living conditions.
“The homeowner had good intentions, but the situation got away from her, and the dogs started to procreate and spread illness,” No Dog Left Behind wrote. “Many were pregnant and most had contracted sarcoptic mange, a highly contagious and painful skin disease.”
While Smile’s condition was relatively mild, she had some mange that caused her pain. She also had tick-borne diseases. She was also found to be pregnant, but lost her puppies due to the neglect and distress. “It breaks our heart for her,” the rescue wrote.
No Dog Left Behind began treating Smile’s medical conditions, knowing they were meant to give her the second chance she deserves. “We fell in love with the hope we saw in her eyes. Smile was destined to join our rescue,” they wrote on Facebook.
Despite the hardship and heartbreak, Smile was now on the road to a better life, and never lost her big infectious grin. “Even with the pain and discomfort, Smile is soo incredibly grateful and trusting. She knows that life will be better from here on out,” they wrote.
Smile made a big impression on the rescue’s staff, including NDLB’s operations manager Stephanie Easley, who says that Smile “captured [her] heart.”
Once Smile was finished with quarantine for her skin condition, Stephanie stepped up to foster the dog. She says it’s been a great experience and Smile is even more full of happiness in her new foster home.
“The moment I open my eyes, she’s already looking at me and, of course, smiling,” Stephanie told The Dodo. “The genuine love in her eyes is what makes her the most special dog I’ve ever met. They’re expressive … you know exactly what she’s thinking or feeling just by looking at them.”
Their foster situation is only temporary, and Stephanie says her home isn’t quite the right “forever home” for Smile. But she knows that there is a perfect family out there for this sweet dog.
“My hope is that she’ll receive a family that is as crazy about her as mine is, [one] that makes her smile and look at them with all the love in her eyes,” she told The Dodo.