In a beautiful twist of fate, Sapphyre Johnson, a 3-year-old toddler in Tennessee who had both of her feet amputated when she was only one year old, has been given a cute puppy with whom she shares a special bond – the nine-week-old pup is missing one of his front paws as well.

Sapphyre was born with missing toes and fingers, and her feet were amputated so that she could be fitted with prosthetics free of charge by the Shriners hospital in Greenville, South Carolina. Her puppy, Lt. Dan (named after the character in Forest Gump), probably would have been euthanized had his previous owner, Karen Riddle, not realized that he could be the perfect companion for someone just like Sapphyre.

More info: greenvilleonline (h/t: huffpost)

3-year-old Sapphyre Johnson’s feet were amputated when she was 1

When she first saw Lt. Dan, who was missing a paw, she said, “That’s my puppy. He’s just like me”

Some breeders suggested that the puppy’s breeder, Karen Riddle, put him down

She knew, however, that he could be a great therapy dog

“A lot of kids don’t see other children or animals that have issues like they have,” her father told the Greenville News

“In the future, I could see Sapphy at her first show-and-tell in school and she could bring in her dog and explain about her dog and herself,” said a hospital specialist

“Everybody loves dogs and they’ll want to know about her dog that’s special like her”