Although you would never be able to tell based on his infectiously positive demeanor, Smiley the Golden Retriever has not had an easy life. Born into a puppy mill, Smiley’s first days were filled with fear, pain and utter filth. To make matters worse, this small puppy had been born without eyes, making navigating the overcrowded and stressful conditions in a puppy mill even more overwhelming.
Luckily, when he was around one-year-old, Smiley was rescued from this horrible existence thanks to Joanna George. George happily adopted the tiny blind puppy and introduced him to her deaf Great Dane, Tyler. It did not take long for Smiley to adjust to his new life in a loving forever home.
“Tyler was so bouncy and crazy and happy go lucky and [Smiley] turned into the same dog,” George told ABC News. “He came out from underneath the tables where he was always hiding.”
As Smiley grew, his personality flourished and George thought it might be a good idea to get Smiley involved in a therapy dog program.
Smiley now visits hospitals and schools with George. No matter who he meets, this enthusiastic pup is always able to bring a smile to their face.
Although he is prone to run into things, Smiley has learned to take high, slow steps when he walks to help him get his bearings in any given situation.
George has learned that the best way to help Smiley navigate the world is to let him puzzle it through on his own. Between his smell and hearing, he does a pretty amazing job.
Not having eyes has never slowed Smiley down and his ability to empower others to overcome the many obstacles in their own lives is unparalleled. Way to go, Smiley!