Blind Dog Helps Others See Better Days!

4 Aug

Sometimes real life is better than any Hollywood movie.  This might be one of those moments…

He was a nameless dog, born without eyes, serving a life sentence in a terrible puppy mill.  Who knows how much longer this particular golden retriever would have suffered — or even been allowed to live — if it wasn’t for one special person.

Enter Joanne George.

  • Certified with the Certification Council for Pet Dog Trainers in 2003
  • Professional member of the Canadian Association of Professional Pet Dog Trainers
  • Therapy Dog Evaluator for St. John Ambulance
  • Training professionally for over 15 years
  • Veterinary Assistant for over 20 years
  • Educated in Canine Behavior

Joanne rescued the golden retriever and named him Smiley.  She quickly noticed something was very wrong with her new dog.  Smiley was very introverted and scared, which wouldn’t be unexpected for a dog in his situation, but there was more…

Smiley was born without eyes, yet his eyelids were open and this appeared to be causing him a great deal of pain.  Joanne arranged for a veterinarian to help close Smiley’s eyelids.

As soon as this happened, Smiley’s pain subsided and he started to come around.

Joanne paired Smiley with a deaf Great Dane named Tyler.  Tyler is high energy, and the two hit it off.  Tyler immediately raised Smiley’s energy and spirits.

“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 soon as Smiley started to interact with people, his shyness melted away.  Not only did he tolerate being around them, but he became very friendly, even with strangers he’d just met. Joanne spotted a gift in Smiley and started taking him to hospitals and schools to visit people who needed some cheering up.

There was one patient in a nursing home named Teddy whom no one visited and hadn’t been known to speak during his stay.  The staff at the nursing home said they had never even saw him smile.  That was, of course, until Smiley came along.  Joanne recalls, “(Teddy) smiled and laughed when Smiley got into his vision.  It was so touching to see we had made a difference… a big difference in this man’s life.”

The therapy work Smiley does is quite amazing, especially with children. Joanne adds, “It’s very touching when they see how he was born different and it’s ok to be different and you can still overcome things.  Their confidence level goes right up.”

Smiley’s biggest message is that whoever you are and whatever circumstances or situations you are in, you can always overcome them.  You can always be happy.  You can always smile.

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