Toddler and Puppy Both Born with Birth Defect Become Best Friends

Sapphyre first met Lt. Dan through a photograph. She saw the photo and said: “He has a foot like mine.”

Three-year-old Sapphyre Johnson knows there is something special and different about her, she was born without fingers and feet. This birth defect has not stopped her from being a happy playful child, but now she has something else to be happier about. Sapphyre has a very special best friend, a puppy, who was born without his front right paw.

Photo credit: Heidi Heilbrunn/Greenville News
Photo credit: Heidi Heilbrunn/Greenville News

 

The puppy is a nine-week-old White German Shepher named Lt. Dan, after the character from “Forrest Gump” who lost both his legs. The dog was born in a litter of nine puppies and he was the only one missing a paw.

“It was two weeks ago when we were told that [Karen Riddle a breeder] contacted [Shriner’s Hospital for Children] about a puppy who was missing one front paw,” Sapphyre’s mother Ashley Johnson told ABC News. “She wanted him to grow up with a child who had similar circumstances.”

Photo credit: Heidi Heilbrunn/Greenville News
Photo credit: Heidi Heilbrunn/Greenville News

 

Sapphyre first met Lt. Dan through a photograph, and as soon as she saw the dog’s photo she realized they shared something in common. “He has a foot like mine,” exclaimed Sapphyre.

Lt. Dan the dog is not only perfect for young Sapphyre, he is also the ideal candidate to become a therapy dog.

Photo Credit: Greenville Shriners Hospital
Photo Credit: Greenville Shriners Hospital

 

Riddle and Shriner’s Hospital worked together to transport the dog and get him ready as a therapy dog. On Monday, April 20, 2015, Sapphyre and Lt. Dan went home together.

This is jut the start of an awesome friendship between a child and her dog.

27 thoughts on “Toddler and Puppy Both Born with Birth Defect Become Best Friends

  1. A beautiful story. Two perfect matches that will be forever friends. God bless them both. Forever happy.

  2. Bless them both. They are the perfect match made from true love. Thanks to those that shared this heart warming story and photos.

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