The Power of Puppy Love
updated 12/16/1991 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 12/16/1991 AT 01:00 AM EST
It's too early to say when—or if—Donny will recover completely, but he has started physical therapy, and he can usually recognize family members. The story of the injured boy and his dog has clearly touched people. The family has been swamped with cards, and an anonymous donor gave $1,000 toward Donny's medical costs. Kim Basinger sent a Batman T-shirt, Prank Sinatra a 6-foot stuffed dog, and the Bushes a picture of their favorite dog, Millie.
"It didn't surprise me at all that Rusty helped Donny break through that barrier, says Dr. Philip Arnold of Newington Children's Hospital, where Donny was moved three weeks ago. "There's a special relationship between children and their pets. Animals love and don't ask for anything back." He adds that Donny is making good progress. During another recent visit with Rusty, Donny giggled, snapped his fingers to get the dog's attention and said, "C'mere, Rusty, give me a kiss!"
Rosemarie and Albert, who are both out of work and living on Albert's Social Security disability check, are thrilled. "Isn't this something?' " says Albert, smiling through tears as he watches Donny and his dog from the back of the playroom. "It's a miracle."