As a dog lover, do you ever feel like there is no one in the world who understands you better than your four-legged best friend? Although they might not always verbally understand us, they seem expertly attuned to our feelings and needs – something that completely transcends verbal communication. For Joey Granados, this incredibly connection completely changed his life.

Joey was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrom, a disorder on the high-functioning end of the autism spectrum, when he was seven-years-old. Although Joey could memorize entire books after reading them once, at the age of 14, he struggled to make personal connections with others and absolutely loathed showing displays of affection for others. For years, he couldn’t so much as hug his mother. But this all changed when he met Roxy the Pit Bull.

 Adopted Pit Bull Helps Autistic Teenager Hug and Kiss Him Mom For the First Time

 

After spotting Roxy on the Best Friends Pet Adoption & Spay/Neuter Center of Los Angelos’ website, Joey and his mother absolutely fell in love. The rescue center was running a special event where shelter dogs could be adopted for the low fee of $10, so Joey and his mom set out to meet Roxy.

Once they met Roxy for the first time, she immediately bee-lined to Joey. Completely ignoring Mrs. Granados and the other shelter workers, Roxy’s connection with Joey was magnetic.

Adopted Pit Bull Helps Autistic Teenager Hug and Kiss Him Mom For the First Time

The pair bonded and Joey was able to do something he had never done before … show affection for another.

Joey tells the Examiner that Roxy “opened his heart,” making it easier for him to make friends and even give his loving mom hugs and kisses.

“If I’ve been having a bad day, Roxy can hear a tone in my voice,” Joey explains to Today.com. “She runs up to me to give me a giant hug and lick me to death and do almost anything she can to make me happy.”

Adopted Pit Bull Helps Autistic Teenager Hug and Kiss Him Mom For the First Time

 

While there is nothing that can compare to the relationship between a person and their pup, Mrs. Granados thinks there might be a larger reason why Joey and Roxy connect, “Kids with autism are looked at differently and misunderstood, and so are Pit Bulls. I think that’s why they’ve bonded!”

Adopted Pit Bull Helps Autistic Teenager Hug and Kiss Him Mom For the First Time

 

From misunderstood to completely accepted and loved, Roxy and Joey will never have to struggle to find companionship again.

Enjoy your life together, Roxy and Joey! Watch the full story of when Joey met Roxy below:

 

All image source: Amanda Granados