When Joanne George first came across Smiley, things weren’t going so well for the pup. After spending two years living at the puppy mill where he was born, the Golden Retriever was anxious, destructive, and completely un-housebroken.
Oh, and he had no eyes. Which you might think would be a problem for a pooch, but Smiley definitely isn’t your average canine.
Since going to live with George at her Stouffville, Ontario home, Smiley has gone from problem pup to internet superstar, thanks to one special talent.
“People were so drawn to him, so inspired by him,” George told CBS News. “I realized this dog has to be a therapy dog — I have to share him.”
And share him she did. Smiley became a certified therapy dog, and has since spent his days making house calls to children and elderly people who suffer from physical and mental disabilities.
One patient in particular, a man named Teddy, is a perfect example of the effect Smiley has on people. Teddy was unable to speak, and staff at his nursing home had never seen him smile — that is, until Smiley came along:
“One day, Smiley put his feet up in front of [Teddy] and he started smiling and making noise. All of the nurses rushed into the room and said they’ve never seen him smile — never seen any kind of reaction.”
And can you blame him? Just look at this face – how could it not make you smile?
The internet has also taken notice of Smiley’s infectious spirit, turning him into something of an online superstar:
— Brogan Driscoll (@Brogan_Driscoll) March 12, 2015
Meet Smiley, the blind therapy dog who melts everybody's hearts. pic.twitter.com/l9VkT0MRp0
— Just Adorable. (@JustAdorabIe) March 12, 2015
this made me cry i want to love this dog forever ill give him all the love in the world http://t.co/nzeM0TzIJI
— chelsea (@harrysbagel) March 2, 2015
Smiley, however, isn’t letting his new-found fame go to his head:
Stay awesome, Smiley.