Recently, a short documentary has been circulating online named “A Boy and His Dog.”
It’s the story of an 8-year-old boy in England, Owen Howkins, who was born with Schwartz-Jampel Syndrome, which keeps his muscles in a constant state of tension.
There only are about 30 known cases in the world at the moment.
Owen looks a little different than everyone else, and he uses a wheelchair to go long distances.
Like anyone would be, Owen’s condition made him self-conscious around strangers. He didn’t enjoy going out in public.
Then, he met Haatchi.
Haatchi, an Anatolian shepherd dog, was rescued from a terrible situation; someone had tied him to a railroad track, and he lost his leg after getting hit by a train.
Owen’s mother found the dog through a friend and instantly connected with his calm personality; he might be a good dog for Owen.
When they first met, Haatchi immediately walked over and put his head in Owen’s lap, Owen said in the documentary.
“There was just a communication between them that only they will understand,” his mother said. “It was like they both knew that each other was different, and they immediately accepted those differences, and they were going to work together as a team with those differences.”
Now, Owen doesn’t mind going out in public when Haatchi is with him.
“Instead of staring at Owen and saying ‘What’s wrong with you?’ They were asking about Haatchi, because it’s rare to see a three-legged dog,” Owen’s father said. “He loved being able to talk about Haatchi’s story and making old ladies cry about him being tied to a railway line. He loved the attention he was getting in a good way. His confidence has just grown and grown.”
The two also enjoy attending dog shows together, and even won the 2013 Crufts “Friends for Life” program, which honors dogs that help their owners overcome adversity.
Isn’t it great how sometimes we get sent exactly who and what we need exactly when we need them?
Haatchi and Owen are a wonderful testimony to that.
“What I’ve taken from the relationship between Owen and Haatchi is that, no matter how bad things get, there is always something good in the world,” Owen’s mom said. “Owen and Haatchi simplify everything by pure love.”