Sapphyre Johnson has lived her entire 3-year-old life without her feet, ABCNews.com reported.
The toddler, born in Greenville, South Carolina, has been a patient at Shriners Hospitals for Children since she was three months old, where she is regularly fitted for prosthetic feet.
When she went in for her last visit, she left with much more than new feet, her mother, Ashley Johnson, said.
Sapphyre received the friend of a lifetime when she was gifted with a new puppy, who was also missing a paw.
“It was two weeks ago when were told that an owner had contacted the hospital about a puppy who was missing one front paw,” Johnson said in an interview with ABC News. “She wanted him to grow up with a child who had similar circumstances.”
Johnson said Sapphyre was instantly attached to the puppy after seeing a photo of him.
“Sapphyre immediately noticed that he was missing a paw,” she said. “She said, ‘He has a foot like mine.'”
The 9-week-old White German Shepard, named Lt. Dan after the “Forrest Gump” character who was missing both his legs, was one of nine puppies and the only one missing a paw, according to the dog’s breeder, Karen Riddle.
Johnson said Lt. Dan and Sapphyre have been attached at the hip since they have met.
“We always want Sapphyre to know that being different is not bad,” Johnson said. “People, even pets, no one is exactly the same. That would be boring. I think it’s good for her to see that.”