The bond between a boy and his dog is one that can never be broken; that was the case for Jonny Hickey, a child that was diagnosed with autism as a toddler, and found a very special dog that he instantly fell in love with. The Hickey family knew something was amiss with Jonny’s mental health very early when he was showing signs of anxiety, and screaming in public.
Jonny had trouble speaking with people, and was unable to interact with the two dogs that the family already owned. In late 2012, Jonny’s mother saw a clip on the local news for a Pit Bull puppy that had been beaten and abandoned; the dog’s name was Xena, the Warrior Puppy, and was named dog of the year by the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) for a fighting spirit that could not be matched.
The Hickey family followed Xena’s story on Facebook on a daily basis to make sure that she was going to make it through treatment. The ASPCA contacted the Hickeys to see if they would like to take Xena in for a trial visit: they accepted with pleasure; that’s when Xena met Jonny for the first time.
Jonny was ecstatic to see the puppy and they instantly formed a bond, which was a sight to behold for the family that thought Jonny wouldn’t like another dog. The two are now the best of friends, and Jonny’s parents say that Xena is the best form of therapy that they could possibly ask for; these days Jonny is much more sociable, and the family credits his bond with Xena for that. See the story below from Xena The Warrior Puppy‘s YouTube channel, and witness a beautiful bond be formed.