Tuna is a Chihuahua mix that was found abandoned on the side of the road in San Diego. He has an exaggerated overbite that most likely comes from improper or over breeding. Many dogs like this come from “backyard breeders” and puppy mills and their fate is often a bad one. Tuna made it through the gauntlet however and has become an Internet sensation with over 400,000 Instagram followers.
Like many dogs that have been living on their own, Tuna was extremely skittish when he was first rescued. When he was called he would crawl along the ground instead of walking or running. He warmed up quickly however and was soon ready for adoption. He was taken to a local farmers market in 2010 and that’s where he met Courtney Dasher. Originally Courtney only wanted to foster the dog until they could find him a permanent home but like so many other failed dog foster parents, she fell in love with him and decided to keep him.
Because of his unique look, Courtney decided that Tuna would be perfect for the Internet. In 2012 she created an Instagram page for him and the response was overwhelming. People loved the cute overbite and the way he overcame so many obstacles to get where he was. In no time at all Tuna had gone from being an unwanted stray to an online superstar.
As his pictures made their way around the Internet he also became the star of the “Phteven” meme in which the words are usually spelled in way that makes it sound like he has a lisp. Not only was he an ambassador of cuteness, but he was also making people laugh all over the world.
Tuna now uses his fame to promote animal rescue organizations. Thanks to people like Courtney all around the world, dogs that were previously unwanted find loving homes and prove that beauty really is in the eye of the beholder.