THE LAST THING Gloria Brennan expected to purchase when she was shopping in Bogota, Colombia, recently was a puppy.
''I couldn't leave her with that man,'' explains Brennan, who was born in Colombia and visited her sister there in September.
''On the street I saw this man who looked like a gypsy. He was holding the smallest puppy I'd ever seen in one hand and a monkey in the other. Both of them were for sale, and he kept holding up this little pup saying 'Here's how she bites and here's how she walks,' and the poor little thing, who couldn't have been more than 8 weeks old, was so frightened she was shaking all over. I just knew I could not leave her there, so I gave the man $20 and took her home,'' she says.
Brennan owns the Gloria Brennan Salon in Pikesville and says she has ''the first license for teaching makeup in Maryland. I began the first full-service beauty salon in the state . . . For 10 years, until 1982, I owned a modeling agency and was also a contributor to the development of About Faces cosmetics.'' She is on the board of the National Association of Women Business Owners.
The puppy, Gypsy, is about 3 months old, she believes, and is a mix of Pekingese and spaniel. She is soft browns and tan with a ruff of white about her neck and white and gold paws.
''She is an exceptionally tiny puppy and is adorable. Everyone who saw her on her way to the United States fell in love with her,'' she says.
Brennan recalls the worry she had when she realized she would have to fly a puppy out of another country. ''I called the health department there and was told to get certification from a veterinarian that it was healthy.
''The vet gave her the necessary puppy inoculations, checking her thoroughly and signing papers declaring her free of disease. Then American Airlines was very helpful in helping me get a crate for her.''
She carried Gypsy under her arm at the airport. ''Gypsy had on a tiny sweat shirt to keep her warm during the flight and looked so cute.
''At that airport, everyone gets frisked, and police are all over and I was so worried we might have trouble even though I was carrying all of the necessary papers the veterinarian gave me for her. In fact,'' she says, ''the envelope with them was bigger than Gypsy.
''I need not have worried because she captivated everyone. As we moved along in the airport I asked at the desk if she could please ride with me. Without questions, they weighed her in with my luggage.
''All the way to Baltimore, except for a layover in Miami when we walked in the park, Gypsy sat on my lap or in her crate by my feet. The stewardess gave her lasagna as a treat. Gypsy eats really well,'' brags her owner.
Brennan has been amazed at the friendship that has developed between her cats, Pebbles and Wendy, and the new puppy. ''From the beginning, they ran and rolled and kissed and hugged each other and they are still doing it. It never ceases to amaze me,'' she says.
* The Pets on Wheels Dog-A-Thon held Oct. 14 at Memorial Stadium brought 184 pledge sheets from walkers and raised $24,000. ''We were lucky with the weather and had a much higher turnout than last year,'' says Elaine Farrant, Pets on Wheels director.