How one special puppy changed the life of this little girl
Soulmates come in all shapes and sizes. Just ask Sapphyre Johnson, the South Carolina tot who is now pals with possibly the cutest puppy in the world. Together they share a special bond unlike most others.
Sapphyre, also known as Sapphy, was born a perfectly healthy little girl, except that she was missing her feet, fingers, and toes. As a patient at the Shriner’s Hospital, Sapphy has undergone several surgeries to be fitted for prosthetics. In the meantime, she’s been spending her time with a special friend who shares something in common with the 3-year-old.
Her mother, Ashley Johnson, told ABCNews, “It was two weeks ago when we were told that an owner had contacted the hospital about a puppy who was missing one front paw.” Ashley said the owner, “wanted him to grow up with a child who had similar circumstances.” The idea that these two could get so much joy from something that has the potential to be so painful is a really beautiful thing.
Previous owner Karen Riddle named the pup Lt. Dan, after the character in Forrest Gump who is missing his legs. The nine week old German Shepherd was born in a litter of nine puppies, and according to Karen was the only pup missing his paw.
Karen told Bored Panda, “Some breeders suggested [she] put him down,” but she knew his gentle demeanor would make him an excellent therapy dog. Hospital specialist, Elaine Hardin brought Karen and the Johnsons together. Hardin told USA Today,”The first time I showed [Sapphy] a picture of the dog, she looked at it for a moment, and she said, ‘That’s my puppy. He’s just like me.'” Hardin continued, “In the future, I could see Sapphy at her first show-and-tell in school and she could bring in her dog and explain about her dog and herself.”
Sapphyre’s mother is a wise lady, and told Today, “I always want Sapphy to know that everybody is different, and some of us are more obviously different. Like, people can see Sapphy’s differences. I think it’s good for her to realize that even animals, everyone is different. We’re supposed to be.”
Sapphy and Lt. Dan are proof that you are never truly alone, and what makes you different could totally bond you to someone else. These two are destined to have a long friendship, and are hearts are bursting with happiness that they found one another.