Jonny Hickey is a young boy with autism who had trouble making connections with other people and interacting with the family's pets, had limited vocabulary, and would isolate himself, sometimes even with family members. That is, until Xena walked into his life on her four paws, and brought him out of his shell. The Hickeys adopted Xena, a rescue dog who had been so severely abused for months that by the time she was rescued, it wasn't certain she would survive. When Xena and Jonny met, magic ensued. This heartwarming video captures the journey of both the boy and the dog who are flourishing in each other's companionship.


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  • S Fowley Perri

    The parents who jumped "out of the box"…to help their young son..not knowing what would await them. They are changed people.

  • Debbie

    WOW..that is awesome!! Animal therapy is a win win situation. God's work in motion. What a heart warming story in such a stressful and negative world it is becoming...God Bless!!

  • Carol

    The miracle that Xena and Jonny found each other is very inspiring. Mom gets all the credit for that. Also the story flies in the face of the myth that dogs and humans don't connect on the deepest of levels. Having a great nephew that is autistic, I am aware of how difficult it can be. It is heartwarming to see the transformation. I hope the authorities got the people who abused Xena.

  • Bea

    The wonderful fact that both boy & dog have been saved by God's help for each of them!! God is Great!!

  • Tracy

    With all the negative things out in the world lately, this truly reminds us that there is love and patience and goodness to be found! We just have to be open to it. Beautiful 😍

  • Mary

    God's work in front of our eyes. They kept opening doors and walking through them. Blessing to all who keep walking.

  • Patricia Westall

    Brought tears to my eyes an hope to my heart.

  • Andy

    I hope every autism specialist watches this! When you embrace "the other" in children with autism it's like a flower opening it's petals for the first time. Now, explaining the dog's immediate bond with Jonny, well that's a GOG THING clear and simple.

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  • Follow Xena the Warrior Puppy's exploits on her Facebook page.
  • This inspirational graduation speech by a student with autism inspired tens of thousands around the world.
  • Consider connecting with an animal or bird -- perhaps your pet, or even a spider or bug in the garden. What can you learn from it today?

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