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.
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.”
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.
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.