So Sweet! The story of this little girl and her dog will totally make your day.
julia and walter via fb
Credit: Julia and Walter via FB

Sometimes all a kid needs is a furry friend—and research shows that kids with special needs can benefit tremendously from having a pet. This is true in the case of Iris, a painter with autism whose life changed when she got her beloved therapy cat Thula; and in the case of Quaden, a 5-year-old with dwarfism whose dog also has dwarfism. It's also true in the case a Julia, a young deaf girl who just adopted Walter, a deaf puppy. Julia found Walter at the Pasadena Humane Society and it was love at first sight. Now, Walter waits while Julia does her homework, and then the two spend the day playing. Julia's even teaching Walter sign language!

In a video from the Pasadena Humane Society, Julia says, "Walter is my best friend."

In the same video, Julia's mom notes, "I think they were both meant to find each other." She later wrote back to the PHS and added this special note: "[Julia and Walter] are my loves, and they have taught me that love defines all."

This story touches my heart, with its message of acceptance and belonging. I'll leave you with a final thought from the video:

"Whenever you feel different or lonely, remember Julia and Walter. There's someone out there for everyone..."

We couldn't agree more—and we'd love to hear about the pets that have touched your kids' lives!

Jamie Pacton writes middle grade and young adult fiction, drinks loads of coffee, dreams of sailing, and enjoys each day with her husband and two sons. Find her at, Facebook, and Twitter @jamiepacton.