This heartwarming story so clearly demonstrates the resilience of dogs and their incredible capacity to forgive and love freely even after horrible abuse. One such dog named Xena made her journey back to health only to find a boy named Jonny who needed her just as much as she needed him, this is their happily ever after…
We first came across Xena's story back in 2012 and followed her rescue with a hopeful heart, silently cheering for a miraculous recovery. She was brought into Dekalb Animal Services in Georgia in such a horrendous state of neglect she was not expected to make it through the night. Over the next six months, under the loving care of a wonderful foster family, she continued to regain her health, strength, and a renewed love of life and people.
It was an inspirational recovery to say the least, but Xena the Warrior Puppy wasn’t nearly done impressing the world with what she was destined to accomplish.
In the same Georgia vicinity lives Jonny, an eight-year-old boy with autism. For Jonny life was quiet. He was generally soft spoken and preferred to keep to himself and understandably, familiar situations. But that all changed when Jonny met Xena.
Jonny’s mother, rescue dog mom and volunteer, Linda Hickey had been following Xena’s story online. So when it was announced that Xena would make her first public appearance at a local fundraiser, the Hickey family headed to meet her. It was love at first lick for Xena, and likewise for Jonny. With that joyful introduction it was decided, the Hickey’s would give Xena a forever family and home.
Xena is Jonny’s savior, the spark needed to light up his world. Since adopting Xena Jonny has flourished into a talkative, excited, happy-go-lucky boy who just happens to have autism. These two are nearly inseparable, and to see their connection brings tears of happiness to many eyes.
Xena now lives the good life, with her amazing human family and two rescue siblings. In a YouTube video Jonny shares, “I think we make a pretty great team to spread the word.”
We are inspired by you Jonny and Xena! And we are your forever fans, keep being awesome you two!