The story of this service dog born without eyes is overwhelming and unique! An example and an inspiration to us all …
Joanne George, the owner of the Golden Retriever service dog, saved Smiley.
Suffering from Dwarfism, born without eyes, and supposedly sentenced to death at the age of two, he survived thanks to her. Almost 10 years after all these adventures, he continues to help those in need!
“People are so inspired by what it represents”, explains Joanne. “I realized that this dog was destinated for therapy, I had to share it.”
Shortly after this realization, the dog got the certificate to become a service dog and joined the St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog Program. He spends several hours each day visiting patients in retirement homes, he also goes to hospitals to see sick children.
For the past 7 years, Smiley has taught people to not to stop at disability, illness, past.
“Dogs can come back from nowhere, they can forget their past,” Joanne says, “we as humans, we focus on our past.”
One of Smiley’s visits was particularly noteworthy.
Teddy, an elderly man, whom Smiley often sees in a nursing home, does not speak and he was unable to communicate.
“One day, Smiley put his paws on Teddy, and he started to smile and make noise”, says Joanne.
“All the nurses came back into the room and said they had never seen him smile, or even have such a reaction.”
From now on, whenever Smiley comes to this retirement home, Teddy is the first person who comes to see.
“I believe that’s when I noticed how inspiring it can be for people,” says Joanne George.
But at 12, Joanne explains that unfortunately, it is closer to the end than the beginning.
“He came to my first date”. “He is the ring-holder at my wedding, he was there when I was pregnant he changed my life.”, she adds
Smiley has also changed the lives of hundreds of men, women, and children.
Today, his fur is perhaps a little more graying, his steps a little less vivid, but his tail will never stop moving in all directions!