"When I was seven months pregnant, they did an ultra sound and told us she may be missing some fingers and toes," her mother, Ashley Johnson said of the birth defect that also left the child missing fingers.
"They don't know what caused it," she added. "But she had just two really long toes on each foot. And when she was 1, we had them amputated so she could be fitted for prosthetics."
Among nine puppies in his litter, her new puppy, Lt. Dan— named after the “Forrest Gump” character who lost his legs in the Vietnam War— was the only one missing a paw.
"A lot of kids don't see other children or animals that have issues like they have," said the 3-year-old's father, Matthew Johnson, beaming as he watched his little girl toss a squeaky toy to the pup.
"This was a really nice thing," he said, "and a really good thing for Sapphyre."
"Lt. Dan will be someone for Sapphyre to talk to, to help her exercise and motivate her to move," said Karen Riddle, the dog owner who gave the dog to Sapphyre.
Awww.... Hope this helps Sapphyre cope better as she grows up.