A dog known as Smiley The Blind Therapy Dog has sadly passed away, with his paw in his owner’s hand.
The golden retriever was instantly recognisable, more for his beaming smile, rather than for not having eyes. Despite his troubles he brought plenty of love and happiness to a lot of people.
Yesterday his owner, Joanne George, announced on Facebook that it was time to regrettably let Smiley go after he’d been suffering with cancer.
“It’s the only way to repay what he’s done for us all. We will let him go tomorrow. He’s had enough,” she wrote on Instagram.
Smiley had comforted senior adults in nursing homes, children with autism, and patients of all ages at the hospitals near his home in Stouffville, Ontario, Global News reports. But his fans come from all around the world.
Just ask his 200,000 followers in Instagram.
Of all Smiley’s friends, George’s son, Shepard, will miss his “real-life stuffed animal” the most. One of the last images George posted after her dog’s passing was that of Shepard visiting Smiley’s final resting place.
“A boy and his dog must part ways eventually,” she wrote. “Shepherd knows this pain he’s feeling is the result of loving another with all your heart. Like myself, he has no regrets. The pain is worth all he gave us.”
George had announced Smiley’s cancer diagnosis months prior on Facebook.
“Not easy to type this out … they found a mass/tumour on Smiley’s stomach and one on his liver,” she posted. “The dog who I thought would live forever doesn’t have much time left with us. We are obviously shocked and devastated. He has been so happy lately with extra pep in his step, so this is so hard to comprehend.”
Smiley was put to sleep at 12:30 p.m. on October 14 and memorialized with a candlelight vigil.
CBC Toronto created a video that celebrates this incredibly kind canine’s life, and it struck a chord with thousands of Smiley fans around the world.
“With the passing of Smiley and so many people sending love and giving so much attention to this beautiful boy, it makes me believe that there are still some wonderful caring people in this world,” one commenter posted.
Watch more of Smiley in the video below.
A dog like Smiley wouldn’t want his friends to feel sad. Click the button below to share this inspiring rescue story that will bring a smile back to your face!