A 10-year-old boy who recently had both his legs amputated got the surprise of a lifetime when spent the weekend with Chi Chi, a golden retriever with four prosthetic paws.
Owen Mahan, of Pittsboro, Indiana, would often watch Chi Chi’s inspirational videos online. On Friday, the boy flew to Arizona to meet the beloved pooch for a fun-filled weekend.
“It made me really happy,” Owen told ABC News. “We both got our legs amputated.”
Sweet photos and video of the encounter showed Mahan and Chi Chi playing wiffle ball, lounging and sharing sweet hugs. After the weekend, Owen gushed about the weekend as he sat in a car and played with Chi Chi before giving the dog a goodbye hug.
Owen was just 2 years old when he fell into a bathtub of scalding hot water and suffered severe burns over most of his body, according to ABC. As a result, Owen has undergone dozens of surgeries and had his legs amputated below the knees in June and February.
His mother, Susan, said Owen’s visit with Chi Chi will likely help him in the years to come.
“I don’t think Owen realizes he looks different than anyone else just because in the community we live in he’s so accepted,” Maha told ABC.
“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.”
She adds: “He’ll see how well accepted [Chi Chi] is all over the world.”
Chi Chi has long been a source of inspiration. The 3-year-old therapy dog was found in a dumpster in South Korea, apparently left for dead. She was found with her legs bound with wire and a rescue group took her to a vet, where they learned she needed to have all of her limbs amputated.
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“You could tell she just wanted to be petted and her eyes just stole my heart,” Chi Chi’s owner, Elizabeth Howell, previously told PEOPLE. “She was just in my heart from that minute on.”
Now, Chi Chi has a massive social media following and fans can find her wagging her tail and sporting a smile in nearly every video — all while wearing four purple prosthetics.
“She runs some, she jumps on the couch and she can go up and down the stairs. She’s determined to do anything and she does not give up. If she wants to do something she finds a way to do it.”