The first time a child experiences what’s it’s like to walk around and play in the snow is an absolutely magical feeling. The same thing applies to four-footers too, especially in this case.
Smiley, a Golden Retriever, was born without eyes and was forced to live in a puppy mill for over two years. Luckily, he was rescued and was given a second chance at life.
When he finally is able to experience the snow for the first time, it’s an absolutely heartfelt moment for everyone around.
If it wasn’t for the actions of veterinary technician Joanne George, Smiley would have never had that opportunity. Smiley’s rescue story is both remarkable and inspiring.
The Golden Retriever was rescued from a puppy mill in Canada back in 2004 when he was only two years old. The living conditions were absolutely horrendous and the pups were forced to live in tiny cages overwhelmed with feces and dirt.
“We were in a barn with about 85 dogs,” Joanne told The Washington Post. “It took us five tries to go in there because we were trying not to vomit from the smell.”
Twenty of the more than eighty dogs found in the breeding mill were supposed to be euthanized because their condition was so severe. Joanne was asked to put them to sleep. However, Joanne and a colleague decided that they’d try to find a home for these pets instead.
Eventually, every one of those endangered pups were adopted.
Smiley had found a home as well: he was adopted by Joanne herself.
“I couldn’t find a perfect home for him. It wasn’t out there, which seems strange because now I could find him a home 1,000 times over. Then I realized, ‘Why am I looking so hard? Why don’t I keep him?
“I just thought, ‘He’s mine,’” the vet assistant recalls.
At first, Smiley was still a little bit scared and timid, but he adapted very quickly to his new environment and his home. For the first time, this pup knew what it felt like to be loved and to have someone that took care of him.
For ten years, Smiley was a therapy dog to help lift the spirits of people at nursing homes and hospitals. His joyful personality and happiness managed to put a smile on everyone’s face.
“He does something to people,” the woman told The Huffington Post. “People say they feel like a different person after meeting Smiley.”
The most beautiful things in life are often the simplest, and a walk outside on a snowy day is a perfect example of that.
The blind Golden Retriever, twelve years old at the time, is absolutely thrilled to experience walking in the snow.
Even though Smiley had already reached senior age at this point and couldn’t see a thing, there’s just something special about the winter and the snow that rejuvenated the pup and made him feel like a newborn puppy full of energy. It’s about the most adorable thing ever and it’ll instantly melt your heart.
Because of his age, the pup was also going deaf. Luckily, Joanne knows how to communicate with him via high-pitched sounds.
Smiley hasn’t stolen his name, because he makes everyone around him smile.
Aside from his work as a therapy dog, Smiley also amassed quite the celebrity status on Instagram with over 200,000 followers. Even though Smiley’s life was supposed to end abruptly, all he needed was a second chance to flourish.
“Don’t turn an eye to a rescue dog, especially a special needs dog,” she said. “It doesn’t matter where they come from. If Smiley can do it, any dog can.”
This amazing video of Smiley walking around in the snow has gone viral, for all the right reasons. Almost 1,5 million people have already seen the adorable footage. Be sure to check it out yourself in below.
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