A miraculously rescued dog and autistic boy became incredible friends. Take a look at their unusual story

You never know what fate will bring, so, do not give up even in the most hopeless situations. Sometimes you have to trust fate or chance, because thanks to them, life can change for the better. Both the Hickey family and an abandoned puppy found out about that fact themselves.

Mr. and Mrs. Hickey are a consistent and loving married couple who were touched by a great tragedy: their son was born ill. The boy, named Jonny, was diagnosed with autism or in other words, a developmental disorder which makes contact and communication with one’s surroundings more difficult. Over the years, the parents made every effort to make the boy’s therapy sessions as effective as possible, but their son made little progress. Fortunately, this lasted only until Jonny met a unique puppy that was a mix of the Stafford and Pit Bull breeds.


Jonny’s parents tried different therapies, including dog therapy. Unfortunately, their son had not developed a proper bond with the four-legged therapists and they abandoned the idea until they heard about an abandoned pup, which was admitted in critical condition to an animal shelter in Georgia. The nearly 4-month-old pup was starved and dehydrated to the point that he could not stand up. For the veterinarians and shelter staff, it was unbelievable that such a little thing could have been so neglected. The find was named Xena (warrior) because, despite all the difficulties, she bravely fought for survival every single day.

The veterinarians said that they’ve never been brought a dog that was so young and in such a terrible state.

Eventually Xena regained her strength and caregivers decided that she’s ready for adoption. Her story was posted on the internet to inform as many people as possible about her adoption. In this way, the information about Xena reached the Hickey’s. The couple showed up at the shelter during their open house and decided to take the puppy home with them for the night and see the reaction of their sick son. They were accompanied by a feeling that this meeting could change the life of both the boy and the dog.

Xena survived and got a second chance

Jonny, due to his illness, rarely smiled and was a rather gloomy child, keeping his distance from humans and animals. An unexpected change in behavior occurred when he saw Xena. He immediately began to smile and happily made contact with the pet. The boy was not afraid of the dog, and she clung to him with great joy and licked his face. Linda Hickey was shocked, because she had never seen her son showing so many positive emotions and so quickly breaking the barrier of fear towards a stranger.

A surprising bond quickly connected the boy and dog.

Are you curious how Jonny and Xena’s life together looks like? We invite you to the next page of the article.