Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 10 to 15
- Grade: 5 to 10
While working as a veterinary technician, Joanne George heard about a puppy mill not far from the clinic and embarked on a rescue mission with her coworkers. On that special day Joanne met Smiley for the first time. He had been born without eyes and with dwarfism and because of his time in the puppy mill, Smiley was suffering from serious anxiety. While the other dogs rescued that day were found loving homes, Smiley was going to need some extra special care. Nothing happens without practice and patience and Joanne and Smiley learned both those traits together. Gradually Smiley was able to walk offleash and started greeting Joanne at the back door. She gave Smiley a loving home and he taught her patience, understanding and acceptance. It became evident that Smiley would be a wonderful therapy dog.
On the Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2017 list
About the author
Joanne George is a dog trainer and former veterinary technician who lives with her family (and Smiley) in Stouffville, Ontario. She and Smiley visit nursing homes, libraries, children's programs and schools as part of a therapy dog program with St John's Ambulance.
"An appealing and upbeat biography of a winsome dog with a plucky and compassionate owner."
— Kirkus Reviews
"Touching and engaging. . . The accessibly written, descriptive narrative, incorporating abundant photos of Smiley and interspersed with encouraging motivational quotes, addresses topics like disabilities straightforwardly and sensitively, all while conveying the importance of positive attitudes, respect, and understanding. Side information further explains concepts such as puppy mills and what therapy dogs are and the jobs they do. Many readers will find Smiley's tale affecting and inspiring."
"Smiley: A Journey of Love is an inspiring story for all ages. Joanne George's prose is clear and concise. The six chapters of the book tell a story of determination, compassion and survival. The photographs and captions are seamlessly integrated into the storyline."
— CM Magazine