Life is challenging not just for us but for all the myriad of living beings around us. Meanwhile, life for a differently-abled animal is more of an ordeal considering the fact that they have to fend for themselves. The story of Smiley, a golden retriever, is a reminder that one can still find hope and happiness, no matter how constrained one is, physically.
Smiley was born blind and suffered from dwarfism and other physical issues. It seemed that he wouldn’t get the love and care from his own family, as he spent the first two years of his life at a puppy mill in a small town in Ontario.
Smiley. You were a fairy tale. The Cinderella story of a dog. You were the knight in shining armour that the world needed. Your story will be told for generations – you will never be forgotten.
But things were about to change, and in 2004, a former veterinarian technician, Joanne George, was sent to the puppy mill to euthanize about 20 dogs that would have required medical care. She found Smiley, living in the most distressing conditions. His ears were split and there were scars on his face, indicating he had a hard time surviving with his disability.
The condition of the puppy mill was so terrible that Joanne realized that the time to act was now or never. Instead of euthanizing the dogs, she and another vet decided to find homes for them. All of them were adopted except Smiley, as he was blind. She tried very hard to find him a family before finally adopting him herself. “I just thought, ‘He’s mine,’” she told The Washington Post.
As he began to adjust to his new surroundings, Smiley began to live up to his name. Joanne noticed that Smiley was happy to meet just about everyone he ran into, “he really did something to people.” So, Joanne got him certified to be a therapy dog.
From then on, Smiley visited hospitals, schools, nursing homes, and any place where people needed a boost of love and affection. For years, he taught people how to “live the moment” as he was a symbol of hope and joy despite his disability. He’d become so famous that he even had a meeting with Justin Trudeau, the Canadian Prime Minister.
The pooch surely spread his aura of positivity far and wide. George told the HuffPost, “People say they feel like a different person after meeting Smiley.”
Personally inscribed books with a Smiley pawprinted post card are available by emailing me at Jogeorgek9@hotmail.com Sunny and Pippi have been busy in the inkpad signing books too!!!
But Smiley passed away when he was 15 years old after a brief battle with cancer, leaving behind his contagious positivity. He may have left us, but he is one of those who continues to bring happiness even after they’re gone.
Watch this video of Smiley walking in the snow. Though he is blind and nearly deaf with age, his positive attitude is portrayed as he enjoys himself outdoors.
Watch the video below: