Girl Gives Birthday Surprise Of 100 Pugs To Brother With Autism
Thanks to a bunch of well-meaning strangers, this boy was able to have his dream birthday party – complete with 100 pugs!
Andrew Vaughan was turning 14 years old and had never had a birthday party. The reason for this was heart-breaking.
“He has always been too scared to have one in fear of nobody showing up,” McKenna said. “He’s a very sentimental person and it would break his heart.”
The boy has struggled keeping friends due to having autism which makes connecting with other much harder. That’s when his sister decided to do something creative. McKenna knew that Andrew loved dogs, especially pugs. When he was younger he fell in love with them and even had imaginary friends who were pugs!
“I love their smushed faces and the way they snort,” Andrew told ABC News.
She got an idea to put an invitation out on social media inviting anyone who owned a dog (especially a pug!) to join in a party for Andrew. Her hope was to have 100 pugs join them for Andrew’s special day.
It wasn’t looking like the party would work out as McKenna had gotten no RSVPs with only three days left before the scheduled party date. She was worried that her plans of surprising her brother would not work. Then, a local animal shelter saw the post and shared it.
Gwenn Vallone, Pug Nation Rescue of Los Angeles,“All I did was share the invitation on our Facebook page and asked that any of our followers with pugs show up to the park. It all happened organically, really.”
Within hours of the post being shared by the rescue, McKenna began receiving dozens of attendance confirmations! It appeared they would have a “100 Pugs Party” after all.
“I was in such shock,” McKenna told The Dodo. “I was at work sitting at my desk and tears were just flowing down my face because I was amazed by the amount of compassion these pug owners shared. People from all over the world were asking me for my mailing information to mail him gifts and birthday cards as well as his email to send him a happy birthday message. It was so heartwarming.”
Andrew said he was “so happy” with the party.
“The pugs were jumping all over me,” he said. “I’ve never seen anything like that before in my life!”
This whole experience was so amazing! The look on my brother’s face when over 80 pugs showed up to his surprise birthday party brought me so much joy. It was pouring rain in the beginning and there were still people out there and pugs in strollers with umbrellas. I bawled when the first 2 showed up just at the fact that people cared. Then they kept coming and it was just beautiful. Thank you @foxyandthehounds for the amazing gift of a brand new laptop for his computer animation! I am crying while writing this 😭❤️
Since the success of her brother’s birthday party, McKenna was inspired to help others in similar situations. She has started a GoFundMe account “Birthday Parties 4 Special Needs” to raise funds for a new business venture as a party planner for special needs individuals.
Peggy Little, McKenna and Andrew’s mother, has been impressed by McKenna’s actions. She would love to get a pug for Andrew, but fears that the cost of care might be too much. The therapies needed for Andrew overwhelm the family’s finances. In spite of that, Andrew has developed quite the collection of pug items and has not wavered in his love for the wrinkled canines!
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