A Blind Golden Retriever Named 'Smiley' Brings Joy To Others As Therapy Dog

March 12, 2015

Owner Joanne George saved Smiley from a puppy mill at the age of two. The Golden Retriever was born with dwarfism and without eyes, but that hasn't stopped him from living up to his name.

smiley blind golden retriever therapy dog
Joanne George / Facebook

To help Smiley transition from his lifestyle at the puppy mill, she paired him with her energetic Great Dane, Tyler.

"He was very scared, [the dogs] had never been out of that barn," Joanne recalled. "Tyler was so bouncy and crazy and happy go lucky and [Smiley] turned into the same dog."

smiley blind golden retriever therapy dog
Joanne George / Facebook

Once Smiley began interacting with people more and more, Joanne realized how special he was.

Now Smiley spends his days as a therapy dog brightening the days of kids with special needs and nursing home residents in the small town of Stouffville, Canada.

smiley blind golden retriever therapy dog
Joanne George / Facebook

One of Smiley's visits to the nursing home was particularly memorable.

A patient named Teddy had no communication and could not speak at all. Staff said they had never seen him smile.

That was until Smiley came along.

"One day, Smiley put his feet up in front of [Teddy] and he started smiling and making noise," George said. "All of the nurses rushed into the room and said they've never seen him smile -- never seen any kind of reaction."

Now every time Smiley visits the nursing home, Teddy is the first person he sees.

smiley blind golden retriever therapy dog
Joanne George / Facebook

At 12 years old, Smiley has brought smiles and comfort to those in need for 10 years - and counting.

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