It was quite the moment. A 10-year-old burn victim from Indiana recently met an Arizona therapy dog with four prosthetic legs.
“He’s saw a video about Chi Chi and said he wanted to meet Chi Chi... hundreds of people got together and just contributed to make this happen,” said Susan Mahan, who explained how this inspirational meeting came about between her son Owen and Chi Chi.
“I had tears,” she said. “He had no clue what we were doing. He thought we were just delivering a package. He did not know Chi Chi was going to be here.”
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Meeting Chi Chi meant the world to Owen. After all, they’ve both gone through hard times.
The 3-year old Golden Retriever was rescued from unthinkable conditions. She was found dumped in a South Korea trash bin and had to get all her legs amputated.
“I cannot believe Chi Chi survived,” said Mahan.
Chi Chi was adopted by a Valley couple and now has a new life as a therapy dog, getting around just fine with her prosthetic legs.
As for Owen, he suffered burns on more than 98 percent of his body from scalding water at the age of 2.
“His parents said they were cleaning corium in their bathtub and he fell in,” she said.
Mahan met Owen when he turned 3 and took him in as a foster child, then later adopted him.
“He’s doing really well. We had to do a bilateral amputation this year, both legs, and he’ll have a couple surgeries a year until he stops growing,” Mahan added.
Owen and Chi Chi’s time together reminded Owen he’s not alone.
“Every picture I see of her she looks like she’s smiling,” she said. “Owen is the same way. He comes out of surgery smiling, so they’re both smiling and they’re both like so something bad happened to me, let’s just move on.”
“I don’t want people to feel sorry for him,” Mahan continued. “I want everyone to celebrate all of his accomplishments. You know he wasn’t supposed to live. They didn’t think he would ever walk or talk, well guess what? He is doing all of those things.”
Any time she asks a medical professional, "what’s the prognosis?," Mahan said doctors tell her to ask Owen.
“They say we don’t know. Ask Owen,” she said.
For more information and how to donate to Owen and Chi Chi:
Owen’s Facebook page: IfOwenCanWeCan
Owen’s Go Fund Me: If Owen Can We Can Fund
Chi Chi’s Facebook: Chi Chi Rescue Dog
Chi Chi’s Go Fund Me: Chi Chi's Vet and Prosthetic Costs
Chi Chi’s Instagram: Chi Chi Rescue Dog