Smiley the blind therapy dog's legacy could be preserved at Berczy Park
Locals launch online petition to dedicate golden retriever statue at downtown park to lovable pup
Smiley, the blind therapy dog, could be free to wag his tail, slurp up water and roam outside in puppy heaven as a recently-launched petition sets to preserve his legacy at a downtown park.
By Thursday afternoon, nearly 27,000 people signed a petition to dedicate the golden retriever statue at Berczy Park to Smiley.
"Smiley was a special dog ... He seemed to affect all those who he met," the petition read.
His owner, dog trainer Joanne George, told CBC Toronto she is overwhelmed by the news.
"I'm totally amazed by how many people support the idea," she said.
"I was so humbled to have people start the petition. Smiley's story has really encouraged other people just to do good."
Smiley, who was born without eyes, died earlier this month from cancer. He was 15 years old.
The loveable pup starting putting smiles on people's faces in 2010 as part of St. John Ambulance's therapy dog program. He was also named Stouffville's citizen of the year for his volunteer work at local schools, nursing homes and hospitals.
The petition is now calling for the City of Toronto to honour Smiley's memory by dedicating the park's golden retriever statue to the therapy dog.
Since its grand opening this spring, the park has garnered a reputation among dog owners as a watering hole for its four-legged visitors, who can drink from a trough at the bottom of the fountain.
"This is a very minimal gesture to honor a special dog," the petition reads.