10-year-old burn victim meets rescue dog 'just like him' in Goodyear

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

Chi Chi the therapy dog waited patiently to surprise a little boy who shares something in common.

The golden retriever, who now lives in the Valley, was rescued from the underground dog meat market in South Korea. She lost all four of her legs to an infection. 

Ten-year-old Owen Mahan lives in Indiana. As a toddler, he was burned over 98 percent of his body. He recently lost both of his legs to complications and is still learning to live with his prosthetics. 

He recently found Chi Chi the rescue dog through her Facebook page, and noticed they looked similar. 

He instantly fell in love. But he never thought he'd get a chance to meet her. 

Thanks to his mom and a huge group of people who want to see Owen smile, they secretly arranged a meeting with Chi Chi. 

NASCAR greats Tony Stewart and Clint Bowyer both donated their planes so the boy could make the journey from Indiana to Arizona. 

Owen and his mom landed at the Phoenix-Goodyear Airport Friday afternoon. 

"I was shocked," said Owen. "We both have surgeries and we both have prosthetic legs," he said.

"There's no one else like him. There's no one else that's been burnt that bad that I know of. And for him to see someone else who's had their legs amputated and see they're happy too and life is going on, that means a lot to him," said Susan Mahan, Owen's mom. 

Owen and his mom will spend the weekend with Chi Chi and her owners before heading home with  a new spring in his step.

"I just sense a long-term friendship here that's going to carry on for a long time," said Elizabeth Howell, Chi Chi's owner. 

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Lauren ReimerLauren Reimer joined the 3TV/CBS 5 family in June 2016. She is originally from Racine, WI but is no stranger to our heat.

Click to learn more about Lauren.

Lauren Reimer

She previously worked for KVOA in Tucson, covering topics that matter to Arizonans including the monsoon, wildfires and border issues. During the child migrant crisis of 2014, Reimer was one of only a handful of journalists given access to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection detention facility in Nogales, where hundreds of unaccompanied children were being held after crossing into the U.S. from Central America. Before that, Reimer worked at WREX in Rockford, IL. Lauren is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee and still visits home often. When not chasing news stories, Reimer loves to explore, enjoying everything from trying new adventurous foods to visiting state and national parks or local places of historical significance.

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