Rescue dog transforms Autistic boys life

Source: Irish Pet News posted 14th April 2014

April is an awareness month for both Autism and the prevention of cruelty to animals and as a result one mothexena and johnnyr, Linda Hickey has chosen to speak out about how their rescue dog Xena has changed her autistic son’s life.

Xena the pitbull mix was found beaten and nearly starved to death. After being given a very low chance of survival she beat the odds and was then adopted by Linda and has subsequently changed her 8 year old son Johnny’s life.

It has been over a years sixenance Xena came into their lives and Linda said she saw an almost immediate change in her son when he met Xena for the first time.  ‘There was immediate laughter in my home,’ she said. ‘There was singing, he was talking. He was telling her she had a boo boo on her nose.’ Linda explains how this rescue dog has brought out Johnny’s tactile side as he leans down to give Xena kisses and hugs.

When Xena arrived at Dekalb Animal Services shelter she weighed only 4 lbs and very near death. She responded to food and water and gradually she was nursed back to health with her rapid recovery gaining her the nickname ‘Xena Warrior’ .

Linda heard about Xena’s plight over Facebook and as a family they decided to adopt her in March 2013. While Xena reveled in having a safe haven, Jonny went from being a ‘painfully awkward, isolated’ child into an ‘outgoing chatterbox. Xena went on to be honoured at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ (ASPCA) annual awards ceremony in New York where she won the award for dog of the year. Linda wants people to know that not only did they rescue Xena, she rescued them.

Posted on 28th April, 20148:45 pm by admin