Every being on Earth has their own set of struggles. There are animals, like orangutans, in Indonesia who are losing the forests they call home. There are humans that are born with incurable diseases and must cope with it every single day of their lives. There are marine animals, like turtles, who try to navigate their way through the ocean and end up getting entangled in plastic debris. And there are dogs who end up in the wrong hands and are forced to deal with abuse and cruelty for months or years on end.

Although many times these problems are different and we are destined to deal with them on our own, every once in a while, the abused are able to come together, connect, and help each other through their hardships. Sometimes, through mere companionship, two people with difficult pasts, are able to put it all aside simply to relish in each other’s company.

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In September 2012, a puppy was brought to an animal rescue center. The frail Pit Bull mix arrived in such a severe state of starvation, it was pure luck that she was still alive. 

Xena Puppy 1

Her somber demeanor and low hanging head were indicative of a life of abuse, and vets knew it would take a while before the sweet puppy would feel comfortable opening up to any human. 

Xena Puppy 2

Amazed at the resilience of the tiny pup and confident that this strong girl would make a recovery, the vets named her Xena the Warrior Puppy. 

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Once Xena started getting proper treatment and eating regularly, it wasn’t long before the pup began putting on some healthy weight, recover from her injuries, and restore the twinkle in her eye. 

Xena Puppy 4

Now came the task of finding Xena a forever home. After garnering a lot of interest on a Facebook page, the center made for the pup, they decided to host an adoption house and show everyone how lovable Xena could be. 

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While there were a lot of prospective adopters there, Xena connected with one in particular: a little boy with autism by the name of Jonny. They spent all day together. 

Xena Puppy 6

Jonny, who isn’t too fond of social contact, even let Xena lick his face! Clearly, these two had made an exceptional bond. 

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After witnessing how well the two connected, Jonny’s family knew what they had to do … adopt Xena! 

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According to Jonny’s family, Jonny’s communication skills have improved immensely with Xena by his side. It looks like this pup helped this little boy just as much as he helped her! 

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Yep, they were clearly destined to be BFFS, for life. 

Xena Puppy 10

Watch the adorable friendship unfold here: 

 

 

Xena and Jonny are the perfect example of the kind of magic that occurs when two kindred spirits find one another, regardless of species or circumstance. Both Xena and Jonny had to deal with rough times before meeting one another, but the unconditional love and companionship they share is strong enough to overcome all of the upsetting memories of the past. In fact, their story touched so many people, that Xena was named the ASPCA dog of the year in 2013! This duo’s friendship is a reminder of the amazing benefits of welcoming a companion animal into the life of a child, especially one who has difficulty opening up. We sure are glad these two found each other!

On October 29th, 2016, “Spread the Words,” a 5K run/walk in honor of Jonny and Xena’s beautiful friendship will be held in Johns Creek, Georgia in support of animal rescue and autism programs. To learn more about the event, click here.

All image source: Arachnofondler/Imgur

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