Xena is a pitbull mix whose amazing transformation from a neglected, emaciated puppy to a thriving companion dog for Jonny, a boy with autism, has made national headlines. The bond between Jonny and Xena is incredible.
Xena's story was brought to my attention by Atlanta-based (VSPDT) trainer Lisa Matthews, founder of Pawsitive Practice in Alpharetta, GA (pictured kneeling). She is helping the family train Xena and I couldn't think of a better person to teach and guide them. Linda, Jonny's mother is adamant that Xena will only be taught with positive methods, not just because she is a special dog who is incredibly bonded with a little boy, but because she, like every dog, deserves to be taught with kindness and respect rather than with intimidation and fear. I have no doubt that Xena will be a wonderful symbol of the power of positive training.
Of course I'm thrilled that Xena's family has chosen a Victoria Stilwell Positively Dog Trainer (VSPDT) to help her acquire more skills, but what really warms my heart is that this beautiful dog has now found comfort and companionship in a loving home as well as becoming a little boys' best friend.
Watch Jonny and Xena's story here: