When this little puppy was discovered by the Friends of Dekalb Animals in Georgia in September of 2012, no one expected her to make it through the night. The staff rushed the pup to an emergency vet, knowing she would not survive in the shelter where she was given a 1% chance of surviving.
Staffers said they had never before witnessed such a devastating case of neglect.The dog weighed just four pounds. Then they gave her what she needed: love, immediate medical care, support and more love…. and little by little, it worked.
Named Xena, this tiny, starved little girl kept fighting. Eventually she was ready for adoption. During a shelter fundraiser in early 2013, Xena met a little boy named Jonny who suffers from autism. Jonny’s family adopted her and then a wonderful. astounding thing happened. Slowly, Xena helped Jonny make huge strides in his health and social issues, says Jonny’s mom:
“Jonny has a very limited vocabulary, which is growing every day… but since Xena came into our home, Jonny has not stopped talking. He talks to her all way home from school, during homework and afterwards he plays with her until dinner. Everyday he gently touches her nose wanting to put band-aids on her booboo. He hugs her. He kisses her. He sings to her…and yells at her when she steals his toys.”
Recently, Xena was named the 2013 Dog of the Year by the ASPCA. Together Jonny and Xena now helps spread awareness about both autism and animal cruelty.
Linda sums it up best when she says, “I don’t even know if I can explain it in words. It is just so heartwarming to see it. I believe God has a plan, you know, and on February 11th, a dog walked into my home, a dog walked into my home and made the difference.”
Grab some tissues and watch this beautiful story of how a severely neglected puppy becomes Dog of the Year: