Tianna and Gianna Johnson’s Christmas list was short — but very specific.
The 10-year-old Wayne, New Jersey, twins, who are both legally blind, wanted a disabled dog for Christmas, because having a dog with a disability was something they could identify with.
“Because I’m very different in school. I’m the only one who walks with a cane,” Tianna told CBS 2 News, “and I wondered if I got a disabled dog, she would know the same feeling.”
The girls’ dream came true on Tuesday with the adoption of Carmela, an affectionate pit bull with deformed front legs. The pooch came to them via dog grooming salon owner Sandy Roberto, who rescued the pup that had been constantly kept in a crate.
When the twins’ mother, Dana Polito-Corry, came to Roberto’s salon to have her other dog’s nails clipped, she told Roberto about the twins’ Christmas wish and Roberto made it come true with Carmela.
“I noticed Carmela was disabled. We spoke about Carmela. Sandy got misty-eyed,” said Polito-Corry. “Carmela had been in the grooming salon for more than a year. No one wanted to adopt her until Tianna walked through the door.”
Gianna, who is also autistic, rarely spoke before adopting Carmela, but now she loves talking about her new pup, telling CBS News 2, Carmela, “snuggles and plays with stuffed animals.”
“Just because they’re disabled doesn’t mean they’re any different from a regular dog,” she added.
The twins are asking that everyone consider adopting a pet that’s “differently abled,” like them. “They’re not much different,” Tianna said, “they’re just best friends forever.”