Owen Howkins and Haatchi both know what it means to be dealt a tough hand. Owen was born with a rare genetic disease called Schwartz-Jampel Syndrome which means his muscles are always tensed. Haatchi, a beautiful Anatolian Shepherd was just ten months old when a barbaric human tied him to a railroad track and left him to die.
Haatchi was hit by a train and lay suffering for days before he was rescued. His severely damaged leg had to be amputated and he lost part of his tail. With his injuries it was hard to find a home for Haatchi but then Will Howkins, Owen’s dad, adopted him.
Whatever he may be missing in limbs he makes up for with heart. And he has transformed 7-year-old Owen’s life.
Owen became self conscious about his appearance and realized he was different when he was quite young. Soon he no longer wanted to leave the house. But since Haatchi came into his life he can’t wait to go outside and take him for walks.
Dad Will, who is an engineer in the British air force, said boy and dog hate to be apart. Haatchi has now completed a Pets as Therapy training course and will visit military amputees injured in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The famous Crufts dog show in England honored Haatchi this year with its Friends for Life award — but the real reward is the special bond he has with Owen.