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Abused pup is best friend to boy with autism

  • Pup left for dead adopted by child with special needs
  • The pair are growing together and learning from each other
Abused pup is best friend to boy with autism

We've told you a little about Xena the Warrior Puppy before. SHe was found last year left for dead in a front yard in Georgia. Emaciated, gnawed by insects and infection and cold to the touch, she couldn't even walk.

By some miracle, the workers at Dekalb Animal Services were able to rescue her and slowly nurse her back to health. Just a few months after she was found near death, she was healthy enough to be adopted by a young boy named Jonny.

Jonny Hickey has autism, and was generally quiet and withdrawn. That all changed when he met Xena at a fundraiser in November. The Hickey family fell in love with the dog, and managed to adopt her. Now, Xena is thriving and -- according to Jonny's parents -- he has blossomed, too.

"He is the happiest child I have ever seen him be in eight years," Jonny's mother told Today.

It looks like Xena may be performing some miracles of her own.

Jonny and Xena now make Youtube videos together, and what was once a Facebook fan page just for Xena has grown to accommodate Xena and Jonny's beautiful friendship.

A lot of the posts deal with the dual causes of autism awareness and animal cruelty prevention -- and they are all great -- but few are as heart-melting as Jonny singing "You've Got a Friend In Me."

We love triumphant animal stories, so here are a couple you may have missed:

"Welcome home, Daddy!" Emma the disabled dog greets her military owner.

Everyone loves Lentil, the French bulldog puppy with a cleft palate.

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