When stay-at-home mom Brandi Guillet, 42, first laid eyes on Ellie the dog, she knew she had found the perfect pet companion for her 6-year-old son. Connor is non-verbal and on the autism spectrum. Boxer breed Ellie, age 3, is deaf and has been trained to respond to sign language.

While words and commands aren’t part of their relationship, Connor and Ellie already share an incredible bond.

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Nonverbal boy with autism shares a special bond with his deaf shelter dog