Smiley The Golden Retriever Born Without Eyes Becomes Therapy Dog


Born without eyes, a Golden Retriever named Smiley was adopted from a puppy mill by dog lover Joanne George, who wanted to help the gorgeous pup and find a companion to her deaf Great Dane Tyler. George had to have Smiley’s eyes sewn shut because he constantly suffered from infections. After undergoing surgery, the pooch no longer experienced discomfort and pain.

Although Smiley had a hard time during puppyhood, he turned into a cheerful pooch in no time thanks to Joanne and Tyler.

“He was very scared, [the dogs] had never been out of that barn. Tyler was so bouncy and crazy and happy go lucky and [Smiley] turned into the same dog. He came out from underneath the tables where he was always hiding.”

As time passed, George realized that Smiley was amazing with people and that he would be a perfect therapy dog. She now brings both of her pooches to hospitals and schools where Smiley and Tyler brighten everybody’s day. Joanne adds that nursing home patients and residents especially love Smiley.

“There was this man Teddy, [he had] no speech, no communication at all. The staff] had never seen Teddy smile before. [Teddy] smiled when Smiley got into his vision.”

George concludes that it was important for Smiley to figure things out by himself and she never wanted to keep him in a bubble.

“That dogs can ‘come back’ after a bad start in life. They do not dwell on their past, and they don’t feel sorry for themselves. They live in the moment. Take a chance on a dog with special needs – when he was found at a puppy mill, I was told Smiley would never have any quality of life and it was recommended that he be euthanized. I felt differently, and he has been bringing joy to the lives of everyone he meets ever since.”


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