Samantha, a 4-year-old bully mix, wouldn’t have found a home without her soulful face. After more than a year at Miami Dade Animal Services (MDAS), the hopeless girl was on her way to becoming yet another forgotten shelter dog wishing for a family.
The longer she was ignored, the more heartbroken Samantha — also known as Sammy — became.
Luckily, foster-based rescue Humans and Animals United (HAAU) decided to take a chance on her.
“Those photos broke us,” Rosa Fond, founder of HAAU, originally told The Dodo about Sammy’s shelter pics. “We decided to pick her up, and then we’d figure out the rest.”
When an HAAU volunteer went to get Sammy, the dog looked just as devastated as she’d seemed in pictures. Within minutes of being in the car, however, something changed.
The volunteer watched as Sammy’s frown turned into a smile.
“That’s when Samantha started opening up,” Fond said.
Sammy received some much-needed medical care and quickly found a foster family. Between getting her first home and completing rigorous training courses, the sweet girl’s life improved. But she still struggled to find a forever family.
Then, in August, a loving couple came across Sammy’s story of resilience and instantly fell in love with the pup.
They wanted to meet the dog whose face had changed from a deep frown to an ear-to-ear smile. When they saw Sammy in person, they knew it was meant to be.
“[T]his family went above and beyond to make sure Sammy had everything she needed to flourish!” HAAU wrote in a Facebook post. “The love that this family has shown towards Samantha and our rescue is something we will always cherish.”
After a long, emotional journey, Samantha finally landed the home she’d always dreamed of.
When she’s not playing with her toys or curled up on one of her comfy new beds, Sammy can usually be found snuggling with her humans.
Between walks around her neighborhood, afternoon naps by the pool and wrestling matches with her new dog siblings, Samantha’s new life couldn’t be more different than her time at the shelter.
Today, Sammy’s trauma of being ignored in her kennel is fading away. Once broken-hearted, all the pup feels now is love.
If she could speak, she’d probably say that she’s never been happier. But there’s really no need for that.
As HAAU sees it, Samantha’s joy needs no explanation: “Her smile says it all!”