Smiley the Blind Therapy Dog

This Blind Golden Retriever is the King of Positivity

By Justyne Yuen-Lee


Credit: Instagram / @smileytheblindtherapydog

Joanne George, who is both Smiley’s owner and his Public Relations manager, sat down with me to talk about her inspirational pup!


Credit: Instagram / @ohhayjustyne

Joanne, Smiley, and I during our quick coffee meeting – Smiley sat happily at our side through the whole thing!

Joanne rescued Smiley from a puppy mill when he was 2 years. He was born without eyes and had wounds from living amongst so many dogs, in what were far beyond substandard conditions.

Not letting his ruff start in life prevent him from reaching greatness, Smiley’s owner started a Facebook and Instagram account for him. It was her hope that he might inspire people who have challenges to face and obstacles to overcome.  Not surprisingly, Smiley went viral two years ago, and still maintains his popularity today. As our meeting went on, Joannes phone was constantly buzzing. She explained that this was because she receives e-mail after e-mail asking about Smiley!


Credit: Instagram / @smileytheblindtherapydog

Smiley spreads his “pawsitivity” to all with his personality and great story.

Smiley spends his days as a therapy dog, giving his special brand of positivity to those who truly need it. In fact, it seems that Smiley’s therapy dog superpowers seem to know no end.  Joanne’s recalls a time  when a man, who never responded to any traditional treatments, finally smiled after a few of Smiley’s regular visits. His nurses were shocked and it made Smiley all the more popular.


Credit: Instagram / @smileytheblindtherapydog

Joanne currently has three dogs, two of which are blind! Her border collie, Pippi is the guide for Smiley and Pal. Pal, who came into Joanne’s life as a golden retriever rescue from Turkey, was born with only one eye. However, Joanne believes that Pal isn’t really a golden retriever, but a Turkish Akbash. But it doesn’t matter to her, since her favorite breed is rescue.

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