The 15-year-old blind therapy dog from Stouffville, Ont., was put to sleep Saturday at 12:30 p.m. ET, after a battle with cancer. News of the beloved dog’s passing was shared by his owner, Joanne George, on social media.
“It’s the only way to repay what he’s done for us all,” George posted on Instagram Friday. “We will let him go tomorrow. He’s had enough.”
With 204,000 Instagram followers, the dog was famous for his infectious smile and ability to help others. During his years as a therapy dog, he comforted hospital patients, children with autism, and those living in nursing homes.
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Described as a “real-life stuffed animal” by his owner, he was especially loved by George’s son, Shepard.
George regularly shared photos of the two together on social media. In the last one posted Sunday, her son rests his head on Smiley’s grave.
“A boy and his dog sometimes have to part ways.”
The normally cheerful dog hadn’t been feeling well, George recently explained.
Smiley’s cancer diagnosis was announced three months ago on Facebook.
“Not easy to type this out … they found a mass/tumour on Smiley’s stomach and one on his liver,” the post read.
“He has been so happy lately with extra pep in his step, so this is so hard to comprehend.”
Smiley’s memory was honoured with a candlelight vigil Sunday night. George posted video of community members paying tribute to the beloved canine on Facebook.
“You will never be forgotten Smiley,” she wrote.