Dying dog meets autistic boy. That’s when a miracle happened


Xena, the Dying dog that went through so much pain during her lifetime is now the symbol of endurance, courage, and a really great friend that changed a life worth changing.

Jonny Hickey is an eight year old boy who was diagnosed with autism. Although he attends regular classes, he can’t say he’s got a lot of friends. It seems like solitude had suited him just fine in the past years of his life.

He loves his family so much, and he is a great student, but neither his parents nor his teachers could make him share anything with them; he doesn’t even speak with any of them. It’s not he doesn’t know how to speak, it’s that he refuses to talk.

He would always play by himself not interacting with those around him. He has created a pattern of behaviors that he followed and whenever he came across an unfamiliar situation that would interrupt his customary behavior it would cause tantrums.

So, when the destiny united these two soul, Xena and Jonny, an amazing friendship was born.


Jonny would mainly involve himself in activities that didn’t require other people to be involved. He could spend all day playing marbles or would built objects from plastic bricks. He was used to the environment he grew up in and didn’t accept anyone in his surrounding.

Dying Dog

Dying dog

Xena was a rescue dying dog who suffered from negligence and abuse. When she was discovered, no one believed she would make it through the night; she was so weak and tiny that she resembled a corpse, for her ribs were visible.

Chrissy Kaczynski, the founding member of Canine Caravan Rescue said, “I’ve been doing rescue probably for about 12 years, and I had never seen a dog that young in that sort of condition.”

dying dog

However, the dog not only pulled through the night, but she managed to regain her strength and started her journey to a full recovery. Her rescuers were so amazed by Xena’s desire to succeed that they shared her life story online, on the Facebook page they created for her.

One morning, Jonny’s mom came across the story of this amazing dog and she knew she had to have her. Despite having two dogs already, Linda, the mother, felt like Xena’s place was at their home. When she contacted the Rescue Center, they were happy to organize a meeting.

The moment Jonny set eyes on the dog, the two became inseparable for life. On the very first meeting she started licking his face and he was all smile.

After everyone became aware of the instant connection, Xena became a permanent part of the family.

dying dog

After the dog’s arrival in the family, everything started changing for the better. It seemed like Jonny became a new person. He started spending his time with his new furry friend. Linda recalls all the therapies Jonny went through and how no doctor could help, and it appeared that ”the best therapy was standing on four legs in their family room”. Watching Jonny breaking his usual patterns made his parents happy. They couldn’t believe how this dog affected their son’s life all for the best.

dying dog

Jonny started talking to people, greet them in the store and on the street and he became outgoing. As for Xena, she is a great example of how dogs of her breed can endure so much pain and still become absolutely remarkable family dogs. She even received the highest of accolades when she was named the ASPCA 2013 Dog of the Year!

dying dog

In April, the month of Autism Awareness and Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, these lovely buddies made a video they shared with the world.

Jonny’s mom says, “I really believe God had a plan. These two were destined to be together — to save each other at a level that humans just can’t understand.”


Below is the video no one remains indifferent to. It’s the greatest proof that dogs really are men’s best friend. They can be a positive influence and make a change in people’s lives. If you want to see more of Jonny and Xena you can follow them on Facebook.

If after reading this story the question that crosses your mind is “Who saved whom or Dying dog”, I guess the most obvious answer is “They saved each other”


What do you think?