When 6-year-old Connor Guillet, who is non-verbal and has a chromosomal disorder that causes extreme physical and mental delay, met foster dog Ellie it was love at first sight.
Ellie, a 3-year-old boxer, is deaf and responds to sing language commands — perfect for Connor who uses sign language to communicate. Connor’s parents, Brandi and Chad Guillet, welcomed the pup into their home through Coastal Boxer Rescue‘s foster care program located in their hometown of Cocoa, Florida, over the holidays.
“They kind of need each other in a way,” Brandi, a 42-year-old full-time mom, tells PEOPLE. “I know Connor looks to Ellie for support and comfort and I believe Ellie goes to him for comfort and support too.
“They’re best friends.”
Connor, who has DiGeorge syndrome, often bursts into uncontrollable fits, according to his mother. But when he’s with Ellie, he “is immediately comforted.”
“If he’s melting down she licks him and he, 99 percent of the time, stops,” says Brandi. “He’s distracted and his mood instantly lifts with her kisses.”
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She adds, “He loves Ellie, treats her just like a human!”
The Guillet family took the pup in after Connor met Ellie at a rescue event.
“We went because Connor loves dogs, and when we met Ellie, it was like everything felt perfect,” says Brandi. “There was a trainer there who said she knows sign commands. Connor kissed her face and I knew it was just meant to be.”
Brandi and Chad are in the process of adopting Ellie and can’t wait to be her full legal guardians.
“Connor and Ellie play together all the time, they are always in the backyard jumping on the trampoline,” says Brandi. “And when Connor is sleepy, Ellie will nudge his arm around her and they snuggle.”
Connor has spent “every waking moment together” since Ellie joined his family.
“I can’t explain it, there is something extremely special about this dog,” says Brandi, holding back tears. “When Connor signs to her and tells her to sit or wags his finger like, ‘No, no’ it’s just so evident there is an amazing bond.
“It’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.”