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RIP Smiley – The Dog Who Overcame So Much To Bring Us Happiness

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One of Canada’s happiest and most well-loved faces has sadly crossed over the rainbow bridge.Smiley, the blind golden retriever who’s been working as a therapy dog for most of his 15 years, was put to sleep after a three-month bout with cancer.

“It’s the only way to repay what he’s done for us all,” Smiley’s owner, Joanne George posted on Instagram the day before she said goodbye to her friend. “We will let him go tomorrow. He’s had enough.”

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.

A dog like Smiley wouldn’t want his friends to feel sad. Click the button below to read an inspiring rescue story that will bring a smile back to your face!


10 Common Health Problems in Dogs

1. Arthritis

Arthritis is a common condition in older dogs that causes inflammation of the joints, leading to pain and stiffness, which can affect the dog's mobility. This condition can be managed through medication, physical therapy, and homeopathic remedies. Glucosamine is also effective in preventing and alleviating the symptoms of arthritis.

2. Obesity

Obesity is prevalent among dogs, with almost 60% of them either overweight or obese. Obesity increases the risk of certain types of cancer, arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension. The best way to avoid and treat obesity is to provide a healthy diet and regular exercise. Consult your veterinarian before changing your dog's diet or exercise routine.

3. Dental Diseases

Dental disease in dogs is typically caused by an unclean mouth, and approximately 80% of dogs will have some signs of dental disease by the age of two. Gum disease is the most common type of dental disease, which can cause bacterial infections that may require surgical removal to prevent the infection from spreading to the jaw and skull. Regular dental care can prevent oral diseases.

4. Allergies

Skin allergies in dogs are more common than food allergies and are often manifested as atopic dermatitis. Allergies cannot be cured but can be managed with medication or a prescribed diet.

5. Skin Infections and Hot Spots

Skin infections and hot spots can occur when bacteria infect a wound, leading to redness, inflammation, itching, and irritation. Bathing your dog regularly and seeking veterinary care for wounds can help prevent infections.

6. Benign Tumors

Benign tumors are usually harmless fatty deposits or skin lumps that are unlikely to spread or cause significant harm. If you notice any lumps on your dog's skin, you should get them checked by a vet to determine the best options for treatment.

7. Parasites

Parasites can enter or attach to your dog's body when they eat something contaminated or come into contact with another animal that has the parasite. Internal parasites (heartworms), intestinal parasites (hookworms and ringworms), and external parasites (fleas and ticks) are common. Coccidia in puppies and Giardia in dogs are also frequently transmitted through contaminated water sources.

8. Ear Infections

Ear infections can be caused by several factors, including allergies, autoimmune disorders, wax buildup, and excessive cleaning. Signs of an ear infection include excessive scratching or shaking of the head, odor, dark discharges, and redness or swelling in the ear canal. Medicated cleansers, topical medication, and oral antibiotics can treat dog ear infections.

9. Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) can cause discomfort, pain, frequent urination, or blood in the urine. UTIs could be a sign of a more severe issue like bladder stones or urinary blockage, and it is crucial to consult a veterinarian immediately.

10. Soft Tissue Injuries

Soft tissue injuries occur when a dog pulls a muscle, sprains a joint, or causes damage to the canine soft tissue. Rest, medication, and physical therapy are typically required to help dogs recover from soft tissue injuries.

In conclusion, as a responsible pet parent, educating yourself about the most common symptoms of a sick dog and ensuring access to a veterinarian are essential for your pet's wellbeing. Some health conditions can be hard to detect, and you should never wait until it's too late.

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