Sweet Dog’s Smile Scared Potential Adopters

When a sweet, beautiful dog with Agape Fosters in Iowa had trouble getting adopted, it was for an unusual reason: she loves to smile.

A smiling dog is baring its teeth. Many dogs do it to show submission. It’s never threatening or aggressive. It’s the opposite. But the teeth are showing, leading some uninformed people to think that the dog might be aggressive. So poor Smiley went without any interested families inquiring about adopting her in spite of her wonderful personality.
Lucky Smiley: a writer for the animal website thedodo.com posted her story and her video. It went viral and has had over 3.7 million views. With all that interest, lots of people across the country have offered to adopt Smiley.

The rescue, however, wants to keep Smiley close to Iowa. She has initial anxiety issues, and, like most responsible rescues, this one wants to be sure that if the placement doesn’t work, Smiley is returned to it. Rescues also like to be close in order to offer advice and help if there are problems.

Smiley has had many offers locally as well. The rescue just needs to find the best home for this happy, sweet girl. She will be safe, loved, and appreciated for her happy smiles from now on.

To donate to Agape Fosters, go to its Petfinder page and scroll down to the donate button. It is not necessary to be a PayPal member to donate; they take credit cards. If you are local (Iowa) and seriously interested in adopting Smiley, email alterupet@aol.com.

While some commenting on the Facebook thread expressed disappointment at the desire for a local adoption, the rescue wrote:

There are thousands of Smileys out there in their own unique way and sure hope people will get out there and adopt! 🐾❤️

Another commenter responded to some of the comments and wisely said:

When posts were made on the Facebook thread offering to adopt, maybe those of you who want to adopt but don’t live in Iowa should consider adopting a different dog from the rescue or a rescue near you. There are plenty of equally sweet precious angels in need of a forever home, and not all of them are lucky enough to have a million+ view video.

Very true sentiments. And maybe because of Smiley’s brief moment of fame, other smiling dogs will also find homes.

(All photos and video provided by Agape Rescue.)

Pamela Kramer

​Animal lover and rescuer. Lives with 4 cats, 4 dogs, 1 bird, 2 frogs and usually one foster animal (and very understanding husband). Reviews books (especially about animals) and educates children about compassion toward animals. Former household animals include rabbits, rats, and other assorted creatures. Also writes at pamelakramer.com


  1. Dianne Ingham says:

    Thank you so much for helping Smilely get a forever home.

  2. Lisa Blanck says:

    Glad she’ll be safe… and one of the easier dogs when it comes to tooth brushing!

  3. Dianne Ingham says:

    Thank you so much for featuring Smiley. She is the sweetest dog who deserves a great home. Please consider donating to Agape Fosters as they do great work finding unwanted and miss treated animals forever homes. Thank you to all the animal lovers.

  4. Nancy harvey says:

    This is truly a Cinderella story! Smiley literally came from a horrible, cold, concrete prison where she lived 24/7 to being lucky enough to land in one of the best rescues in Iowa, Agape Fosters. Thank you Diann for giving Smiley security and self confidence to prepare her for a forever home! Please consider donating to Agape Fosters.

  5. Lauri Coffman says:

    What a delightful article about Smiley!! Agape Fosters… one of the longest running rescues in Iowa does it right first and foremost by the dog or cat being adopted!! Grateful for the personal touches about Smiley and the shout out for other rescue dogs!!

  6. Val Hileman says:

    Thanks for this wonderful article on Smiley!!! Very well written and informative.

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