Smiley The Blind Therapy Dog Holds Owner’s Hand As He’s Put Down

Instagram / @smileytheblindtherapydog

Smiley the Golden Retriever, who was born without eyes but a permanent smile, now only has hours to live.

The announcement was made by Smiley’s owner, Joanne George, via Facebook and Instagram where she also revealed they’ll be putting him to sleep.

In the latest Instagram post Joanne added in the caption:

It’s the only way to repay what he’s done for us all. We will let him go tomorrow. He’s had enough.

He’s like a real-life stuffed animal.

A post shared by Joanne George (@smileytheblindtherapydog) on

The picture shows her holding Smiley’s paw as she prepares to say goodbye – after bringing so much love and joy to countless people – and after enduring his hard battle with cancer.

For 12 years Smiley has visited hospitals, care homes and schools to bring light to those going through their darkest moments.

As well as being a source of joy and comfort for those in pain,his Instagram has gone on to amass up to 191K followers, which features his trademark grin as well as the people he’s helped along the way.

Shep runs straight to Smiley for kisses ?after school.

A post shared by Joanne George (@smileytheblindtherapydog) on

In an interview with the Huffington Post, back in 2015, George said:

He does something to people.

People say they feel like a different person after meeting Smiley.

Smiley’s permanent grin was due to a rare condition he had at birth, similar to dwarfism.

It meant his oversized teeth made it look like he was constantly smiling and furthermore, his eyes were sown shut to prevent any further infection.

Smiley spent the first two years of his life in a puppy mill before being adopted by the George family.

Since then, he went on to visit several children who were going through bereavement and those suffering from disabilities which was way of offering comfort to them.

George continued:

These kids who were born with different disabilities are able to see that dogs, too, are born with the same disabilities.

It’s important for them to see that Smiley has overcome and that he’s happy.

It wasn’t only children the Golden Retriever brought joy to, he was also a source of comfort for adults as well.

Speaking to ABC in 2015 Joanne explained how a meeting with a severely disabled man at a nursing home had such a positive effect on him:

There was this man Teddy, [he had] no speech, no communication at all. [The staff] had never seen Teddy smile before.

[Teddy] smiled when Smiley got into his vision.

Staff were amazed at the effect he had on Teddy and it proved that Smiley truly was a one-of-a-kind canine.

How do I thank him for what he’s done? How do I say goodbye? It’s almost time to give him back. How do I just go on without him?

A post shared by Joanne George (@smileytheblindtherapydog) on

Since posting the latest picture, which announced Smiley will be put down, Joanne and Smiley have been flooded with messages and tributes.

On Facebook Marcia Coffin Wheatley wrote:

It’s a funny thing to fall in love with a dog or a person you’ve never met. But Smiley has been one of those who has touched my heart in more ways than I can imagine. I’m sending you hugs and prayers for his passing and the days to come.

Melody Weber Richard added:

I am literally crying for a precious dog and family I have never met but have both touched my heart.

Thank you for sharing Smiley’s journey with us and his precious smile each day.

Joanne revealed three months ago on Facebook Smiley had been diagnosed with cancer.

Masses were found on his liver and stomach, which meant the 15-year-old didn’t have long to live.

We here at UNILAD would like to say thank you to Smiley the Golden Retriever for bringing joy and positivity to countless lives – we’d also like to offer our deepest condolences to Joanne and her family at this difficult time.