By Marielle Mohs

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Minnesota golden retriever puppy has been special since birth.

Marvel was the only puppy from her Litchfield litter born without a front right paw, says Barb Felt, the breeder of Rolling Oaks Goldens.

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“When she was born, we knew right away she had a special purpose,” Barb said.

Right away, Felt had a vision for Marvel’s future.

“We wanted her to go in a home with someone who had a limb difference,” Barb said.

She was soon connected to the Williams family in Waconia by another one of her clients, who is the occupational therapist for 7-year-old Paxton Williams. He was born extremely premature, and developed an infection in his leg that stunted its growth.

Three years ago, his parents made the decision to have doctors amputate his foot and give him a prosthetic so he could more easily walk and move around on his own.

Marvel and Paxton Williams (credit: CBS)

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Barb knew Paxton would be the perfect match for Marvel. Blaine Williams, Paxton’s father, says he and his wife Stephanie love to see their son and Marvel overcome their limb differences together.

“It’s like they knew they were special,” Blaine said.

In just a week of bringing Marvel home, Paxton has already taken her on a lot of walks along the trails near their home. Blaine has been capturing their matching, yet miraculous strides.

“The amount of emotions that were running through me at the time, it was just awesome because it was knowing that she was in the perfect place at the perfect time,” Blaine said.

Stephanie has already seen Marvel make a difference in the way Paxton shares his own story with his friends and neighbors.

“It gives him the opportunity to tell the kids, ‘Oh she’s missing a paw, she’s like me,’ and like it gives him that voice, too, to advocate for himself,” Stephanie said.

As Marvel gets older, she may need a wheelchair or prosthetic of her own to get around. For now, the hope is someday Paxton will be able to run with his prosthetic, and Marvel will be able to run alongside him.

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Check in on Marvel’s progress via Rolling Oaks Goldens’ Facebook and Instagram accounts.

Marielle Mohs