Sapphyre + Lt. Dan = Best Friends 4Ever!
Meet Sapphyre Johnson, a beautiful 3 year-old with a new best friend. Sapphyre has been a patient at the Shriners Hospital For Children in Greenville, South Carolina since she was 3 months old. She was born already missing fingers and her condition led to having both of her feet amputated. When you meet her new furry best friend – you’ll understand their connection.
Sapphyre has been through numerous surgeries and has been fitted for custom prosthetic feet. Otherwise, Sapphyre is a very happy, healthy little girl with a bright future.
Now let me introduce you to Karen Riddle, a local German Shepherd breeder with a dilemma. About 9 weeks ago, she discovered one of her puppies was born without a front paw. Other breeders recommended that Karen should put the puppy down as he would be difficult to sell. That, for Karen, was out of the question.
Instead, Karen contacted the Shriners Hospital hoping to find a possible match. Her thought was maybe – just maybe – there would be a child that would connect with her puppy she named “Lt. Dan” from the movie “Forrest Gump.” (In the movie, Lt. Dan also had his legs amputated – the name seemed to stick)
With some help from a specialist at the hospital, they determined that Sapphyre would be the perfect match!
As a matter of fact, "The first time I showed Sapphyre a picture of the Lt. Dan, she looked at it for a moment, and she said, ‘That’s my puppy. He’s just like me,'” Shriners child life specialist Elaine Hardin, said. “He’s a special dog and he’s going to a special child.”
The two met and it was love at first sight…for both of them. They have been inseparable since Sapphyre took Lt. Dan home with her to Tennessee.
Sapphyre’s mom, Ashley Johnson said, “"He follows her every step she takes, everywhere she goes!"
For a video seeing Sapphyre with Lt. Dan in action, click below.
Thank you, God, for this beautiful connection you have provided for both Sapphyre and Lt. Dan. We know your hand was on this friendship from the very beginning. May they have a long-lasting friendship for years to come! AMEN!!
For another inspirational story, CLICK HERE!
Featured Image Credit: Facebook