Xena the warrior puppy made Facebook fame with her miraculous recovery from neglect and abuse – but the family who adopted her have been even more amazed at the impact she has had on their autistic son.
The Labrador/retriever was re-homed in November last year after being found abandoned and horrifically abused in Georgia, US.
She was cold, beaten and close to death and it was a miracle she survived according 11 Alive News.
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The puppy was named Xena and her new family included a boy named Jonny Hickey, who was withdrawn and introverted as a result of his autism.
As soon as she came home Xena and Jonny became immediately inseparable and the little boy started showing signs of improvement.
Once too shy to speak, Jonny asked his mum to make this video for Autism Awareness Month and it is clear to see his confident, bubbly personality shining through.
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"My name is Jonny and this is my puppy, Xena. Well, my Xena was hurt really bad. By some not-so-nice people. And I have autism. So I think we make a pretty perfect team to spread the word to be nice to animals, and nice to kids like me," Jonny says in the video.
Visit Xena's Facebook page here