A 10-year old boy who lost both legs due to a recent amputation had his dream come true when he met an inspiring dog with all 4 legs amputated.
Meet Owen Mahan. Owen is a very brave and unique boy. He is from Pittsboro, Indiana, and his story is not easy to hear. But it comes with a happy tale.
A Journey Down the Same Path
When Owen was 2 years old, he fell into extremely hot bath water, resulting in burns to over 98 percent of his little body.
Every single year since that time, he received multiple corrective surgeries.
When he was 3 years old, Owen was adopted by Susan Mahan. After this most recent surgery which removed both of Owen’s legs, Susan and Owen watched inspirational videos given to them by one of Owen’s teachers.
The videos were of Chi Chi, a 3-year old Golden Retriever who doesn’t have any legs.
Like Owen, all of her legs had to be amputated after a traumatic event. Chi Chi is originally from South Korea, where she was severely abused.
Chi Chi was kept in deplorable conditions in South Korea, where she was prepped to be part of the regular dog slaughter that occurs there.
Her limbs had all but rotted off from the neglect and abuse over the years. To add to her tragedy, she was put in a trash bag and thrown away.
This is how she was left to die.
When she was at death’s door, two angelic people happened upon her; seeing a sparkle in her eye and a will to live, they rushed her to the nearest vet clinic.
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Though the assessment was grim, several rescue foundations teamed up to give her surgery and fly her to the United States to be adopted.
Chi Chi was adopted by a woman named Elizabeth Howell and her family in 2016, and they reside in Arizona.
Howell is inspired every day by Chi Chi’s “never-give-up attitude,” and the dog’s ability to forgive, move forward, and learn to trust people despite her horrific past.
The dog was fitted for prosthetics and now spends her days in service as a therapy dog, with a huge online fan base following her daily life.
Owen felt so inspired that he wanted to meet Chi Chi. So, this past Friday, he got on a plane and flew to Arizona to see her in person!
Worldwide Support for the Event
Earlier this year, Howell learned that Owen was following Chi Chi’s online adventures.
She started a conversation with some acquaintances of the Mahans in Indiana, and they began a coordinated effort to fly Owen and his mom out to Phoenix in order to spend the weekend with Chi Chi.
Incredibly, NASCAR racer Tony Stewart, who knows Owen through mutual friends, offered up his own private plane to get Owen and his mom to Arizona!
People all around the world sent Owen and Chi Chi cards of support, which Owen received this past weekend while in Phoenix.
An Incredible Weekend
The weekend this dynamic duo spent together was nothing short of amazing; they went to NASCAR, attended an NHL game, went swimming, and even played wheelchair basketball with the Australia Wheelchair Rugby Team!
Howell and her family really stepped up to start helping the Mahan family in a big way.
Susan Mahan began fostering and adopting special needs children when she was done raising 3 children of her own. In addition to caring for Owen, Mahan has adopted two other boys and is fostering two young girls.
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Howell was so inspired and moved by this that she began using Chi Chi’s social media platform to ask people to donate to the Mahan family.
And people responded with overwhelming support. Already, people worldwide have sent the Mahan family everything on the children’s Christmas list.
Mahan says every night, she is moved to tears, crying a little over how kind and generous people can be. According to Mahan, “there is a lot more good in the world than there is evil.”
Owen’s mom says she hopes that by meeting Chi Chi, Owen can gain the strength he needs to keep stepping over obstacles and pursuing his goals.
Owen is a lucky boy. His community has been so accepting and welcoming of him that his mom doubts he even knows he looks different.
She knows this won’t always be the case. She knows one day, nicely or not, someone will tell Owen he looks different.
But by meeting Chi Chi and seeing what a bright and happy life she lives, Mahan hopes Owen will be inspired to do what this incredible dog did – get up, keep going, and have a beautiful life full of love and healing.
By seeing how accepted and cherished Chi Chi is all over the world, Mahan hopes that Owen can have the confidence to feel accepted and cherished himself.
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