Golden retriever born without eyes brightens patients' day as service dog BY Nina Golgowski NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Tuesday, March 10, 2015, 8:35 PM The pooch was threatened with death before rescued from a puppy mill by an Ontario dog trainer. A golden retriever who was born without eyes and nearly euthanized before being rescued from a puppy mill has transformed into a shining beacon for the disabled. Smiley, who was adopted by an Ontario dog trainer at the age of 1 or 2, may have grown up rough but he's today seen living up to his name while spreading puppy love as a service dog at Stouffville-area hospitals and nursing homes. "There was this man Teddy, (he had) no speech, no communication at all," Smiley's owner, Joanne George told ABC News of one memorable visit with a nursing home patient. The moment Teddy caught sight of Smiley, it was like a spell had been broken. "(Teddy) smiled when Smiley got into his vision," she said. "(The staff) had never seen Teddy smile before." It's not to say that Smiley has always been such a charmer. When George first found the pooch, he "cowered at the sound of another dog eating — the scars on his face and ears told me the stories of what it was like living with so many dogs in such deplorable conditions," George states on her blog. In addition she said Smiley was "extremely destructive and had zero housetraining. He was nervous and had many anxieties about coming into a home." Over time George was able to train Smiley through verbal commands, she said, and he befriended a deaf Great Dane named Tyler. "Tyler was so bouncy and crazy and happy go lucky and [Smiley] turned into the same dog," George told ABC. "He came out from underneath the tables where he was always hiding." Today, he can remarkably maneuver around foreign locations by simply following the sound of George's feet. He's even become a kind of national celebrity — whether he can see it or not — with him appearing on stage with famed dog trainer Cesar Millan during three of his live performances. George says that Milan continues to share Smiley's story to his audiences as well as his message. "…the message is, 'it doesn't matter where, or how a dog starts off his life — he is able to overcome and become a stable, happy dog,'" she wrote on her blog. "...for dogs do not dwell on the past — they only live in this moment."