I am at a crossroads roght now. I have very sad but also very relieving news to report.
Smiley The Blind Therapy Dog is finally at rest. He crossed over the Rainbow Bridge on Saturday October 14th.
On one hand it's incredibly sad. I and most of us can identify with the grief felt by the family. I have lost many "best friends" over the years. It never gets easier to deal with.
On the other hand, Smiley is finally at rest and doesn't need to fight and struggle any more.
The huge difference here is that when we have dealt with our own grief, if was in a small circle of friends and family.
Puppy mill survivor Smiley, who born without eyes, brought joy and comfort to the elderly and to children, outside of his immediate family. Once news of him and his love spread, he became known across the internet as a source of comfort, happiness and unconditional love. A symbol for people to hold onto in their own times of sadness, even though they never met him.
Back in 2004, Joanne George rescued Smiley from the puppy mill near Peterborough where he was born. She first met him when he was covered in scars and unable to see due to a condition associated with dwarfism — he’s smaller than a typical golden retriever, with a slightly larger head — which left him anxious and afraid.
But soon enough, the loveable pup learned to trust his new owner, and George quickly realized Smiley’s story and personality resonated with everyone he met. “I thought he’d be such a great therapy dog,” she recalls.
So she made it happen. For many years, Smiley worked as a St. John’s Ambulance Therapy dog, helping children learning to read and comforting the elderly by visiting nursing homes, libraries, children’s programs and schools in the Whitchurch-Stouffville area, about 45 minutes north of Toronto.
Now the George family need our love in return. Please be respectful at this sad time.
Rest well champ. All angels don't have wings. Some have paws.
Please share this with friends and family and we will see if we can make a difference to the St John's Ambulance dog therapy program, that equates to one tenth of a percent of the effect that Smiley made to us.
If you're feeling down ... close your eyes, point your nose to the sun, inhale and let the positive energy recharge you ☀️
- Joanne George.
All images courtesy of Smiley's Facebook page. Some text courtesy of Toronto Star.