Smiley Thrives as Blind Service Dog

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Smiley Thrives as Blind Service Dog

Born without eyes, Smiley didn't have much chance of growing up to be a seeing eye dog. But, having been born in a puppy mill, the prospects for this pooch might have been poor regardless. However, 

Smiley has overcome the adversity he was born with to thrive

, helping others and bringing joy to many.

Bringing smiles to nursing home patients

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Smiley was rescued by Joanne George when the Golden Retriever was just 1 or 2 years old. Since then, this blind pooch has become a beloved service dog for St. John's Ambulance in Ontario and a favorite therapy dog to nursing home residents and patients in Stouffville, Canada, according to Good Morning America.George is no stranger to dogs with handicaps. Her other dog, Tyler, is a deaf Great Dane. When George first got Smiley, Tyler actually helped him acclimate to life outside of the puppy mill and become the dog he is today.In the 10 years since George adopted the pooch, he's established himself as a dog who can truly live up to his name."There was this man Teddy, [he had] no speech, no communication at all," George told GMA, recalling an incident at a nursing home. "[The staff] had never seen Teddy smile before ... [But Teddy] smiled when Smiley got into his vision."

Keep your dog's eyes healthy

Although Smiley was born without any eyes, dogs with eyes can still face the risk of becoming blind. Help your pooch avoid this uncomfortable fate by maintaining and enhancing their eye health.A key aspect for maintaining optimal eye health is to perform regular checks. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals explained that you should start by simply looking at your pooch's eyes. Bring your dog to a well-lit area and have them take a seat. Check to make sure their eyes are white with equally sized pupils and no discharge. Look out for eye trouble warning signs like tear stains near the eye, tearing, discharge, eye cloudiness or a visible third eyelid while your dog is awake.You can also peel their eyelids down gently for a better look. Just use your thumb to carefully "roll" your dog's bottom eyelid down to ensure that the lining is a healthy color, the ASPCA explained. It should be pinkish rather than white or red, which could be a sign of a problem.Like with many canine health conditions, it's important to check on your dog's eyes because serious health problems can arise. Organic Pet Digest pointed to cataracts, corneal ulcers, eye infections, eye inflammation, injury, third eyelid prolapse, and pink eye as some of the most common causes of eye trouble in pooches. If you notice anything out of the ordinary when looking at your pooch's eyes, take them to the veterinarian for treatment. It could save their vision depending on the condition.There are also steps you can take at home other than just checking your dog's eyes.

  • Ocuvite Healthy Eyes - This prescription medication can help your pooch develop stronger eyes. It uses a combination of vitamins and nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, lutein, and zeaxanthin. Talk to your veterinarian about Ocuvite Healthy Eyes to see if your pooch would benefit.
  • Angel's Eyes - If your dog has a tearing issue, the first trip should be to the veterinarian to check on their eyes. But, if those tears have led to unsightly tear stains, consider using Angel's Eyes. This over-the-counter medication gets rid of tear and mouth stains.
  • Eye Ease - This homeopathic eye drop helps reduce tear stains and improve eye health at the same time. Eye Ease also helps reduce discomfort related to the eyes.

Use your PetPlus membership to save on Angel's Eyes, Ocuvite Healthy Eyes and other medications that can help your pooch's eyes.

Photos:http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/smiley-the-therapy-dog-s-story-spreads-around-the-globe-1.3000024http://www.buzzfeed.com/alanwhite/this-adorable-dog-with-no-eyes-was-saved-from-a-life-of-negl#.opPBpPPkP

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