Smiley by name smiley by nature is the case with this loveable Golden Retriever, who was born without eyes and raised in a puppy mill. Yet despite this less than ideal start in life he brings joy to many as a therapy dog for the disabled.
His oversized teeth, due to another condition he was born with called dwarfism which means parts of his body are disproportioned, and the fact his eyes were sewn shut to stop infection, means he looks like he's constantly smiling. Ergo, Smiley.
Joanne George from Stouffville, Canada adopted Smiley when he was two years old but back then he wasn't the calm dog he is today. "He was extremely destructive and had zero housetraining." says George. "He was nervous and had many anxieties about coming into a home. He cowered at the sound of another dog eating—the scars on his face and ears told me the stories of what it was like living with so many dogs in such deplorable conditions."
Through expert training George mellowed Smiley and because he couldn't see her body language she says she used her "energy" to do it. Smiley using his hearing and smell to get around and soon became a more chilled dog. It was then that George began training him as a therapy dog.
Smiley now works at St. John’s Ambulance in Ontario working largely with children. He often helps children who have experienced a death close to them, visiting the children or attending funerals. And he also works with children with autism and goes to classrooms to help those with special needs.
“These kids who were born with different disabilities are able to see that dogs, too, are born with the same disabilities,” George told The Huffington Post. “It’s important for them to see that Smiley has overcome, and that he’s happy.”