Meet Smile — a tiny rescue pup whose name was inspired by the permanent grin on her face.
Smile hasn’t always had the easiest journey. She was born in a hoarding house in Tijuana, Mexico, where she went years without receiving the love and care she needed. The resilient pup was ultimately rescued by No Dog Left Behind (NDLB) and she greeted her new friends at the shelter with a smile that stretched from ear to ear.
“She made the intake team fall madly in love,” Stephanie Easley, NDLB’s operations manager explained.
Smile was initially rescued from her home in Tijuana alongside 23 other dogs by At-Choo Foundation in Toluca Lake, California. All the dogs were suffering from a painful skin disease, but luckily, Smile’s case wasn’t as severe. Smile’s story reached the NDLB team in Minnesota, and, as soon as they saw her pictures, they knew she belonged with them.
“We fell in love with the hope we saw in her eyes,” NDLB wrote in a Facebook post. “Smile was destined to join our rescue.”
With the help of Mutt Mutt Engine, NDLB transported Smile from California to Minnesota. At first, the dog was timid and scared, initially biting at her rescuers’ hands. But they gently carried her from the van to her new kennel, and she soon warmed up to them.
“Once she was out of the van and not in a position of feeling backed into a corner, she was much better,” Easley said. “She curled up in a ball and laid there, just watching the volunteers work.”
Smile had to be quarantined due to her skin condition, but that didn’t stop the rescue staff from showering her with love. In return, she’d flash them her million-dollar smile.
“I went up to her kennel and she sat up and smiled at me,” Easley said. “It was at that very moment that she captured my heart.”
Easley immediately decided to foster Smile, giving the expressive pup a more comfortable place to recover while she finds a forever home.
Now, Smile is living the best days of her life at home with Easley. The two spend all day together, starting with a loving morning wake-up.
“The moment I open my eyes, she’s already looking at me and, of course, smiling,” Easley said.
Even though Smile’s life started out sad, you’d never know it from the expression on her face. Aside from the permanent smile on her face, Easley can tell that Smile is genuinely happy by the look in her eyes.
“The genuine love in her eyes is what makes her the most special dog I’ve ever met,” Easley said. “They’re expressive … you know exactly what she’s thinking or feeling just by looking at them.”
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@stephsayitall We were gone for a couple of hours and we came back to Smile laying in our bed! Pssssttttt she’s out of quarantine early!!!!! #rescuedog #rescue #dog #dogsoftiktok #medical #quarantine #free #foster #fostermom #smile #fyp #foryou #foryoupage #smileygirl #love #loveyou #iminlove ♬ Acoustic Folk Instrumental – Yunusta
Easley is loving her time with Smile, but she knows that their time together is only temporary.
“We love her with absolutely everything in us, but we know we’re not the perfect fit for her,” Easley said. “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.”
So far, Smile has several adoption applications pending, so her friends at NDLB know she’ll go to the perfect forever home once she’s fully healed.
“We will find her the people that she’s been waiting for her whole life,” Easley said
For now, the affectionate pup will continue enjoying her days in her incredible foster home, cuddling up with her family and forgetting all about the pain of the past.
“Even with the pain and discomfort, Smile is so incredibly grateful and trusting,” NDLB wrote. “She knows that life will be better from here on out.”