Meet The Shelter Dog Who Can Make Even The Saddest Person Smile

“Pretty can make the saddest person laugh,” says Hempstead Town Animal Sheltervolunteer Sharyn Glowatz of the dog with a sparkle in her eye. Young Pretty has a painful past, but when she sees a friend, her joy is writ large across her face; every bit of hurt and sorrow falls to the wayside.

shelter dog makes visitors smile

Pretty was discovered more than a year ago on the Long Island streets. She was too thin for her size, and her skin was blemished by wounds and infection. When she arrived at the shelter, the staff was able to identify and locate her former family. They were told she’d been rescued and could be picked up, but days passed, then weeks. Pretty’s people never came back for her. She was no longer wanted.

shelter dog makes visitors smile

Perhaps that’s why Pretty has what her volunteer buddy Romy Stumpf Martin calls an intense “yearning for love.” She forgives everyone who has ever failed her, and despite the neglect she’s clearly endured, all she wants is someone to play with her. She can run until her whole body is consumed panting and her short little legs give way.

shelter dog makes visitors smile

Some rare dogs, suggests Romy, have the potential to bring genuine delight wherever they roam. Working at a shelter can be emotionally difficult, but it’s impossible to feel anything but gratitude in Pretty’s presence.

shelter dog makes visitors smile

When Alberta Hanko, the woman who runs the Pretty Wants a Home Facebook page, told her nine-year-old grandson about visiting the shelter, he was hesitant. “It will be so sad,” he said. But when he saw Pretty play, make little piggie snorts, and get “the zoomies,” everything changed. “That wasn’t sad at all,” he confided in his grandmother.

shelter dog makes visitors smile

Although Pretty is inherently a happy dog, her many months in the stressful kennel environment have taken a toll. “She just wants acknowledgement,” explains Romy, who sees Pretty day after day, her wide mahogany eyes following everyone who passes her by. She cocks her head back and forth, her characteristically lopsided ears flopping to and fro. She tries to give kisses through the cage bars. She feels lonely.

shelter dog makes visitors smile

If someone opens their home to Pretty, their lives will be forever changed. “Pretty is just so happy to be alive,” says Romy, but she doesn’t have anyone to share her life. If you think you might be Pretty’s person, please reach out via the Pretty Wants a Home Facebook page or contact the Hempstead Town Animal Shelter at (516) 785-5220 or via email at [email protected] Pretty would love to be an only dog, although she could potentially live with another dog following a slow introduction.

shelter dog makes visitors smile

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