A special needs boy in Cocoa, Florida, recently found a new best friend who shares quite a bit in common with him. The six-year-old boy, Connor Guillet, was adopted when he was just four weeks of age – he is non-verbal and uses sign language to communicate. His new friend, a three-year-old boxer named “Ellie,” is deaf and she knows sign language as well.
Ellie, a rescue through Coastal Boxer Rescue, first arrived to the Guillet household over the holidays. Though the dog was taken in as a foster, her incredible bond with Connor is so special that she will soon be a permanent part of the family. Connor’s mom, Brandi, told People about the dog who is a constant companion to her son, “I can’t explain it, there is something extremely special about this dog. It’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.”
Brandi explained to Shelter Me how Ellie was chosen for their home:
We went to a boxer event and met some pups that needed homes. Once we inquired with the rescue Ellie was mentioned. We never thought about deaf dogs until her. When Jon Nowlin at Coastal Boxer Rescue in FL showed me that Ellie responds to sign I had a light bulb go off immediately. Connor is 6 and non verbal but uses sign to communicate. To think that Connor can sign to her and actually communicate with her made my heart melt. We met her…. that was it. She let Connor go up to her, touch her face and kiss her and put his arms around her neck to hug her.
And detailed the special relationship between the pair:
When Connor has tantrums she will stand over him as if to comfort him. When he is upset he will immediately go to her for comfort. It’s as if she knows he needs comforting and attention. They go on the trampoline together. They play tug of war with her rope in the house and she doesn’t tug hard with him. She will run up his slide if he is playing at his play set. If she is laying on the couch he will go up to her and lay next to her like a human… and she always puts her arm across him as if to hold him. It warms my heart like nothing else.
As soon as the final adoption papers are complete, Ellie will officially be a part of the Guillet family (paperwork aside, she already IS a part of the family).
Brandi, and her husband Chad, knew about Connor’s special needs before they adopted him – Brandi told Shelter Me that it “didn’t deter” them at all. She explained, “he needed a family and we wanted a family – it was a match made in heaven. I always say he is our wish come true.” Ellie’s lack of hearing did not deter the couple either – not only do they realize that she is a true friend to their son, but her amazing demeanor has inspired the family to consider fostering another deaf dog in the future. Brandi told Shelter Me, “I believe this isn’t the last time I will foster a deaf dog… they are AMAZING dogs and so intelligent.”
(Photos contributed by the Guillet family)
Coastal Boxer Rescue here.