Family With Autistic Son Adopts Abused Dog, Has Unexpected Results

Updated November 7, 2017

There are often news stories of animals in poor condition and people finding them and nursing them back to health. However, some stories are a bit more heartwarming than others. In this instance, two beings found a true friend after wandering the world as two lost souls before their chance meeting.

Eight-year-old Jonny Hickey did not speak much, and this means that he did not really have friends to play and interact with. This is due to his having autism. Then, there was Xena. She is a dog and at one point, this abused puppy was so emaciated that the rescuers felt that there was no chance that she was going to make it. The situation was dire, and most people have lost hope.

However, Xena and Jonny crossed paths, and this resulted in both of them having their lives changed forever. You have seen this story before, but this one goes so much deeper that is surely pulls at your heartstrings. It also shows how incredible the bond between a boy and his dog can be.

Around his family members, Jonny was relatively comfortable because he had years to get to know them. However, in new environments, it was hard for him to engage in social situations. In fact, when he was out in public, it was not uncommon for him to withdraw into silence and react with terror. This made it hard for him to build friendships with his peers, as well as other people.

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In Georgia, Xena collapsed in a backyard, resulting in an officer coming to her rescue. When the rescue workers saw her condition, they were absolutely horrified. Upon her rescue, she weighed just four pounds and you could see her bones.

One of the rescuers remarked that she had never seen a dog in such a horrific condition before and she has been doing this type of work for about 12 years. She feared that Xena would not even survive through the night. Of course, this dog was not ready to leave this world and her recovery, while lengthy, was nothing short of a miracle. It did not take long for the dog’s story to go viral.

This resulted in Jonny and his mom hearing Xena’s story and they eventually made their way to go meet the dog. Xena immediately seemed comfortable with Jonny, as well as the rest of the family. The immediate friendship between Jonny and Xena was definitely apparent. There as a short trial period before the family was able to adopt her, but as soon as this was up, the adoption was final and Xena was officially a member of the family.

Jonny opened up to Xena like he never has before. The two are inseparable and it seems like Xena has helped Jonny to progress and his behavior has changed a lot, in a very positive way. His mom says that Xena has done more for him than any of the therapy that he has gone through at any point in his life.