Toddler without feet finds puppy without paw

Toddler Without Feet Finds Puppy Without Paw
Toddler Without Feet Finds Puppy Without Paw

A toddler in Tennessee without feet found the perfect companion this week.

Sapphyre Johnson, 3, was born with a condition that caused doctors to amputate both of her feet -- and Lt. Dan, named after the character in Forrest Gump who lost both of his legs, was the only pup in his litter that was born without a front paw.

His owner Karen Riddle says other breeders suggested she put him down but she knew that wasn't a good option.That's when Shriner's Hospital, where Sapphyre has received care since she was 3 months old, stepped in and helped connect the two. They showed the toddler a picture of the 9-week-old white German shepherd, and she knew they would make a good pair.

WHNS was there when the two met for the first time.

Riddle said, "Very heartwarming and knowing that he's going somewhere that he's going to have a child that will grow up with him and go to show and tell with and just like she said when she first saw him, 'Look mom! He's got a foot like mine!'"

Sapphyre's mother told ABC News she's happy her daughter gets to leave the hospital with much more than new prosthetic legs.

"We always want Sapphyre to know that being different is not bad. People, even pets, no one is exactly the same. That would be boring. I think it's good for her to see that."

Riddle told the Greenville News that Lt. Dan will help Sapphyre stay active and explain her disability to others:

"A lot of kids don't see other children or animals that have issues like they have. This was a really nice thing and a really good thing for Sapphyre."

They'll eventually have even more in common. Sapphyre's hospital offered to make her new friend a prosthetic when he gets big enough.

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