Glory’s Story: Before Gloria retired and moved in with me in Maryland, Gloria was known as “Glory” and lived in a rural Appalachian home owned by two well-intentioned but incredibly stretched-thin adults. In addition to raising children of their own, the pair served as foster parents & provided care for special needs youth. There were anywhere from 5 to 8 kids in the house at any given time. While noble, this was a hectic environment to raise a tiny chihuahua in. In fact, chihuahuas are not recommended to live with children and in hectic households due to the fact that there can be many dangers to this small breed. It is a shame that they put Glory in this risky environment, and unfortunately, there were many dangers awaiting Glory in the 2 years she would spend in that house.
(Gloria and her tooth.)
The first dangerous situation her old owners got her into was allowing her to breed with a full grown Dalmatian when she was around 1.5 to 2 years old. This led to many complications during birth. Out of 4 puppies in the litter, only 1 survived. The owners sold the puppy and soon got Glory pregnant again so they could make some money by selling another puppy or two. Of course, these owners did not seek any vet care & again only 1 puppy, who they named Miracle, survived out of the litter. We aren’t sure if Glory had these births through C-section or not since we never got vet records from the owners, but when a dog this small tries to whelp puppies that large on her own, it can be fatal.
(Gloria waking up.)
Another troubling thing is just knowing how painful this must have been for Glory. Also, due to the births of the larger puppies, Glory’s skin stretched an sagged immensely and her elasticity never bounced back. She is only 5 years old today and is constantly mistaken as an elderly dog due to her appearance. She also didn’t get enough oxygen during her pregnancies & ended up with some minor brain damage that makes it hard for her to learn. Knowing that Glory went through these traumatizing pregnancy experiences twice in her life angers and disturbs me still.
Trouble kept coming for Glory the chihuahua after giving birth to her mixed Dalmatian puppies. There was never time to give Glory basic obedience training in that house apparently nor did they buy her dog food regularly, so Glory was allowed to eat table scraps and jump on counter tops. Because she was “trained” to jump on high surfaces, Glory one day fell from a counter and broke her left rear leg. Her old owners couldn’t afford vet care so they tried their best & it “healed” on it’s own: crooked & not set properly. To this day, Glory walks with a slight limp & if she has been active all day, she “tripods it” and hops on 3 legs if her rear leg bothers her.
(Gloria and her funny ears.)
The only other incident that we are aware of was when, according to them, tiny Glory somehow got hit in the face with a tree branch. They claimed she “ran into” the branch, but we have a hard time understanding that logic since there are blades of grass taller than her. Anyway, this “branch” hit her in the face so hard that it permanently damaged her right eye and left a scar on her retina while also giving her a “cherry eye,” a red, puffy mass along the corner of her eye where the 3rd eyelid prolapsed due to trauma. Our vet said it could have gone away and healed if Glory had immediate vet treatment when it happened, but she didn’t, so she has a permanent cherry eye.
When we rescued Glory from this house two years ago, she was underweight and lacked socialization skills. There were 5 yeast infections in both of her ears and her teeth were rotting and infected. After a few surgeries & antibiotics, Glory was spayed & also infection free. Since all of Glory’s teeth were rotted, they all had to be extracted, but we left her two bottom teeth in so that her tongue would stay in her mouth. Glory loves her wet food though, so she is now and always a happy and well-fed pup.
(Gloria running errands with me.)
With lots of hard work, love and dedication on both our end and Glory’s, Glory went from being a neglected, frightened & abused dog to a healthy, happy & adored member of our family. Most of all, she is safe and well cared for. I have learned resilience from Glory & am just so thrilled everyday to have her be a part of my life.
(Gloria celebrating her two year anniversary with us. Don’t worry, she didn’t eat any cake.)
Dog abuse isn’t just the textbook case of a person physically beating their pet. People can be abusive towards animals without being aware of their animal cruelty. Other people, like Glory’s old owners, don’t intentionally mean to harm their animal but do because of laziness and ignorance. Many times, these instances are not considered abuse in the eyes of the law.
(Gloria in the autumn.)
I didn’t write this to have there be a moral to the story. You shouldn’t have to write “be a good human” down and hope the thought catches on. People should just -be- good. If anything, all pet owners should just love their animals and treat them like family. Animals are so willing to give you their trust & love without anything in return, so just find it in your heart to have a heart. I don’t care if writing this makes me seem like some crazy dog person in someones eyes because I don’t think it’s crazy to share a story about survival, resilience and love. It is okay for me to openly believe that there can be goodness in this world and to also believe that we can all be good without having to try too hard.
(Gloria just loves the sunshine.)
So anyway, long story short, my chihuahua Gloria has a “funny” face that I find quite charming. I’m okay with people looking at her like she has been photoshopped to look this peculiar, and I’m okay with people telling me she looks like a contender for “World’s Ugliest Dog.” Yeah, Glory howls like a junkyard pup in heat and her teeth stick out of her mouth like she’s smoking two cigarettes at once, but I really do love this dog- funny face and all.
(Gloria recently on a trip to the park with our other two dogs, Willy & Lulu. Gloria is now happy, healthy and safe in her forever home.)