Loving the story of Smiley, the blind therapy dog
Warning: your heart may not be able to handle the sweetness that is Smiley the Dog. This handsome fella was born without eyes and didn’t have much of a shot until professional dog trainer, Joanne George, rescued him from the puppy mill where he was born — and we’re so very glad she did.
Smiley’s condition left him without any vision in either eye, but it also gave him a few other unique characteristics: he has bowed legs, extra large teeth, and he’ll probably always look like a puppy, even though he’s actually nine years old. Essentially, Smiley will be the cutest dog, ever, for all time.
Professional pet photographer, Stacey Morrison of Happy Tails Pet Photography in Burlington, Ontario, agrees. She captured Smiley’s story in both words and gorgeous pictures (some of which are featured below) on her blog. She says, “ He is happy in a simple, straightforward way that we can all learn from. And his name is truly fitting — he smiles ALL the time. Which makes everyone around him smile. It’s totally contagious and it just makes you feel good.”
Making people feel good is kind of his job. He is a certified therapy dog that works with mentally ill and disabled patients, helping them cope with their surroundings, and just generally perking up their day. George, his owner, tells Morrison, “Some of his patients never smile except for when Smiley visits.”
It’s safe to say that Smiley is not just a pretty face. His quirks don’t slow him down at all, and, as Morrison tells it, “he gets along just fine. In fact, as he’s going about his doggy business — sniffing, listening, frolicking, nuzzling — you forget that he has a disability.”
In fact, he is a little bit of a celebrity. Smiley has been on stage with Cesar Milan as an “inspirational dog,” and has been featured in several newspaper articles, including one written by George herself for Cottage Dog. George tells York Region online, “As long as Smiley can walk, I will take him every week.” It’s safe to say both Smiley and his owner are pretty special, and the world is better place with them in it.
(Images via Stacey Morrison.)