A Boy and His Dog: The Special Bond Between Owen Howkins and Haatchi the Shepherd
A special bond between a boy and his three-legged dog has gone viral.
Owen Howkins has a rare muscle condition called Schwartz-Jampel Syndrome which causes his muscles to always be in a state of tension, affecting his balance and his self-confidence.
But then Owen met Anatolian shepherd dog Haatchi.
Haatchi was tied to a track and got hit by a train in North London and had one of his legs amputated before being adopted by the family. After finding an ad for the dogs adoption on Facebook, Owens stepmom said she instantly felt something special as soon as she met the dog.
"In that moment I literally took a gasp of breath," Colleen Drummond said. "I've never felt like that about any dog, ever in my life."
Owen's parents says the special friendship has helped the young boy as, instead of strangers directing their curiosity and attention at the young boy, they ask Owen about the three-legged dog, and Owen has built his confidence and ability to communicate with others.
"I was scared of strangers but now he's changed my life to not be scared of strangers," Owen said. "He does look after me, and he is special."
The inspirational pair has inspired a film, "A Boy and His Dog," which seeks to create awareness about Schwartz-Jampel Syndrome. According to Owen's dad there are only around 100 cases of the syndrome worldwide.