Children's Health

Tennessee girl, 3, born without feet gets puppy born without a paw

Photo courtesy Greenville Shriners via Fox 2 Now

 (Photo courtesy Greenville Shriners via Fox 2 Now)

The best friends are the type who make us feel like we aren’t alone. A 3-year-old Tennessee girl born without feet and some of her fingers gained one such companion this week when she got a puppy with a missing paw, Fox 2 Now reported.

Sapphyre Johnson was born in Greenville, S.C., with a birth defect, which left her without some of her limbs. Among nine puppies in his litter, her new puppy, Lt. Dan— named after the “Forrest Gump” character who lost his legs in the Vietnam War— was the only one missing a paw.

“A lot of kids don’t see other children or animals that have issues like they have,” Sapphyre’s father, Matthew Johnson, told the Greenville News.

Some breeders reportedly advised the puppy’s owner, Karen Riddle, to put down the white German shepherd. But Riddle refused because many of her dogs have gone to people with special needs. She decided to do the same with Lt. Dan, and give him to a special child or a wounded veteran, according to the Greenville News. Shriners Hospital for Children, in Greenville, helped match Sapphyre and Lt. Dan.

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