All of us have heroes when we are growing up. Usually it is someone who has achieved greatness doing something we enjoy doing.
Little boys dribbling basketballs up and down courts dream of meeting Michael Jordon. Little girls practicing their handstands and tumbling routines would love to be on the team with someone like Dominique Moceanu.
No matter what our dream, there is someone out there that has achieved it. How gratifying it must be to be a role model for children.
One little boy didn’t have to look far to find a hero. See, not a lot of people have accomplished what Owen Mahan has in his 10 years of life.
See, for someone to be a hero, they have to have accomplished more than you have. Owen survived over overcame severe abuse and tragedy at a young age, which resulted in the loss of both of his legs.
That’s really tough to top. Unless you’ve lost four legs.
And that’s exactly what happened to Chi Chi, a Golden Retriever.
Chi Chi was found in a garbage bag in a dumpster in South Korea. She is believed to have been a victim of the dog meat trade.
Her legs were bound, so tightly and for so long that they had rotted. Her rescuer didn’t believe there was any hope for her, but she was taken to a veterinarian.
Chi Chi was sent to a family in Arizona that were willing to take on the challenges of adopting such a “special needs” dog. They say they’ve never regretted their decision.
All four legs had to be amputated, but that didn’t diminish Chi Chi’s spirit.
Like Owen, Chi Chi not only beat the odds, but raised the stakes by thriving instead of just existing.
And for that reason, when asked what hero he would most like to meet, Owen didn’t hesitate when answering “I want to meet Chi Chi.”
One of his teachers had shown him and his adoptive mom, Susan Mahan, online videos of the happy-go-lucky pooch. Owen realized immediately how much he and the frisky pooch had in common.
No one had thought he could beat the odds. But he had. Nobody had thought he would be resilient enough to lead a mostly normal life. But he was doing just that.
So, Owen decided there was no question but that he and Chi Chi should meet.
A lot of people agreed with him. Including NASCAR driver Tony Stewart who offered the use of his plane to ferry Owen and his mom to Arizona to meet Chi Chi and her family.
Chi Chi had been adopted by Elizabeth Howell and her family and has become a therapy dog with a massive online following. She offers encouragement to people facing drastic changes in their life. If Chi Chi can have such a happy and positive attitude after surviving what she went through, surely anyone can.
“The never-give-up attitude that she brings to her life every day; she’s a great reminder of that for us,” Howell said. “And forgiveness because she’s forgiven and moved on and learned to trust people again.”
Once the Howell family heard Owen’s story, Elizabeth immediately began coordinating with acquaintances of the Mahans to fly Owen and his mom out to Phoenix.
“Owen is an amazing young man and has persevered and overcome challenges like Chi Chi has,” Howell said. “That really spoke to us and we wanted to do something special to celebrate him.”
In response to a request from Howell, Chi Chi’s many fans around the world donated every single item on Owen and his siblings’ Amazon Wish Lists. And their donations, combined with Tony Stewart’s generous offer, made it possible for Owen and Chi Chi to meet.
“Every night I have a nice little cry of how nice and wonderful people are,” Owen’s adoptive mom said. “There is a lot more good in the world than there is evil.”
She had adopted Owen when he was 3-years-old. She helped him rehab from all of his painful and debilitating burns. And she was there for him when his body simply couldn’t continue healing his legs and they had to be amputated within the last year.
She began opening her heart and home to special needs children after raising her three biological children. She now fosters two young girls in addition to caring for Owen and his two adopted brothers.
Her huge heart was almost bursting with pride watching Owen and Chi Chi getting to know each other. People from all over the world who knew of the upcoming meeting had sent cards of support that Owen received during his weekend in Arizona.
I love playing wiffle ball with Owen. It’s a good thing there’s more than one ball, because I don’t like giving up the ball when I get it. 🐶💕 Ifowencanwecan
Posted by Chi Chi Rescue Dog on Monday, November 13, 2017
Owen and Chi Chi’s fun-filled weekend together included a NASCAR event, an NHL game, swimming, games of fetch and whiffle ball…and some quiet moments of simply cuddling and bonding.
We had an amazing afternoon and evening with Owen and Susan. We will post more photos and video later. For now, we’ll leave you with this special moment captured this evening. 🐶💕 Ifowencanwecan
Posted by Chi Chi Rescue Dog on Friday, November 10, 2017
The two immediately bonded, instinctively realizing that each had shared so much of the same pain and emotions. And both had had wonderful adoptive parents that gave them the gift of unconditional love in a world that sometimes seemed dark.
There aren’t sufficient words to describe the bond between Owen and Chi Chi 🐶💕 Ifowencanwecan
Posted by Chi Chi Rescue Dog on Sunday, November 12, 2017
Owen’s mom hopes that meeting Chi Chi will give Owen the strength of spirit he will need as he navigates the challenges of adolescence.
“I don’t think Owen realizes he looks different than anyone else just because in the community we live in he’s so accepted,” Mahan said. “But someday, someone is going to point that out to him, so him meeting Chi Chi and seeing how someone besides him got up and keeps going will help him a lot now and as he gets older. He’ll see how well accepted [Chi Chi] is all over the world.”
Wishing everyone involved a lifetime of happiness. You’ve all won our hearts! Especially the little boy and the dog that proved that indeed, no matter what, “they could.”
Source: I Heart Dogs