WAYNE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Two disabled sisters from New Jersey made a wish several days ago, and it came true Tuesday just in time for Christmas.
As CBS2’s Christine Sloan reported, 10-year-old twins Tianna and Gianna Johnson are both legally blind. Gianna is also autistic.
This Christmas, they had just one wish on their list. Tianna said she told her mother, “I want a disabled dog for Christmas.”
Their present came early, wrapped in a red outfit. The affectionate pit bull, named Carmela, has the prettiest eyes imaginable.
Why that specific dog?
“Because I’m very different in school. I’m the only one who walks with a cane,” Tianna said, “and I wondered if I got a disabled dog, she would know the same feeling.”
Carmela’s front legs are deformed – likely from being kept constantly in a crate until dog grooming salon owner Sandy Roberto rescued her. Roberto gave Carmela to the girls.
“This is my Christmas present,” Roberto said. “I don’t need anything else. This is all I asked for — a happy ending.”
How they all met just 24 hours after the wish was an amazing story. The girls’ mother came to Roberto’s dog grooming salon in Wayne her other dog’s nails clipped.
“I was explaining my daughter’s Christmas wish — kidding around — and almost on cue, Carmela walked over,” said the girls’ mother, Dana Polito-Corry. “I noticed Carmela was disabled. We spoke about Carmela. Sandy got misty-eyed.”
Carmela had been in the grooming salon for more than a year. No one wanted to adopt her until Tianna walked through the door.”
When asked what she wanted to say to other people who might not be willing to adopt disabled dogs, Tianna said, “They’re not much different — they’re just best friends forever.”
Until getting Carmela, Gianna rarely spoke. Now, she cannot stop talking about her new companion.
Tianna said, “Amazing,” when asked what it was like to have Carmela.
Gianna said Carmela “snuggles and plays with stuffed animals.”
“Just because they’re disabled doesn’t mean they’re any different from a regular dog,” Gianna said.
Gianna and Tianna are asking everyone to consider adopting a disabled pet this holiday season, or as they put it, a pet who is differently abled like them.