Pit bulls, pariahs, man’s best friend, service, and therapy dogs? It comes as a shock to some, but pit bulls have been serving all of the above roles. The Inquisitr reported last Wednesday on two groups that have training and setting up wounded veterans with service, therapy, and “comfort” dogs. This was not as unusual as you might think, as Zeus the pit bull acted as a wheelchair-bound little girl’s therapy dog as well.
According to ABC 7 News, another disabled child is finding solace in their pit bull. Nine-year-old Johnny Hickey does not see Xena the pit bull as the media-hyped super beast. He sees him as man’s, or rather boy’s, best friend.
Johnny’s parents had some of their joy from childbirth brought to a halt when he was diagnosed with autism. He did not interact with anyone, nor did he speak very much. This was when fate stepped in and set up the scenario that would bring Johnny’s parents to find his future pit bull, Xena.
Xena the pit bull was brought to an animal shelter not too far from the Hickeys after being near death from months of starvation and abuse. The veterinarians gave Xena a minuscule likelihood of survival — 1 percent, according to NBC 5 News. Around the time when Xena the pit bull’s odds were improving, Johnny’s mom, Linda, came upon the nearly dead pit bull. According to her, it just “took her breath away.” When Xena the pit bull was better, Linda brought her home. Johnny’s father, however, was not so immediately smitten.
Although he had apprehensions about bringing the pit bull into his home, it all changed when Johnny first met Xena. According to Linda, he spoke — and spoke a lot.
“I had never heard Johnny talk so much in this house as he did that day.”
Johnny’s skeptical father was nearly brought to tears by what he was witnessing between Xena the pit bull and his son, Johnny.
“I could just cry thinking about it because it was — the dog had such an impact on our son — that tens of thousands of dollars of therapists didn’t have.”
If there is one thing pit bulls Xena, Zeus, and Zen have in common — besides names that start with a “Z” sound — it’s that they have defied the myths surrounding the breed. Pit bulls can apparently serve as a service or therapy dog. It just takes a little love, a little training, and ignoring an unfortunate narrative.
[Image Via Xena the Warrior Puppy Facebook]