Owen Howkins suffers from an extremely rare genetic condition called Schwartz-Jampel Syndrome (SJS).
The disease causes his facial muscles to be permanently stiff and tense, and also triggers growth delays and osteoarticular irregularities. At just 7 years old, Owen had to be wheelchair-bound due to the dislocated hip caused by this soul-sucking illness.
Source: BBC South Today/YouTube
Owen was traumatized by his physical setbacks during early childhood, which in turn caused him to be a shy and miserable recluse.
However, his life turned around the day his parents adopted Haatchi, a 3-legged Anatolian Shepherd. The disabled dog had an instant and profound healing effect on the young boy, more so because he was a survivor himself!
Haatchi was just a young puppy when his previous owner tied him to a railway line and abandoned him. Soon, the helpless pup was badly struck by a train, but he crawled to safety and hid for days before finally being found by a passerby.
However, the nasty accident had already severed his tail and infected one of his legs, which later had to be amputated.Source: BBC South Today/YouTube
After recuperating from his injuries for a year, Haatchi was thrilled to have Owen as his owner. He immediately sensed that his little human was lonely and frightened, and embarked on a mission to make him feel accepted and loved. Over time, Owen’s social anxiety faded away thanks to Haatchi and he stopped feeling embarrassed or ashamed of his condition!Source: BBC South Today/YouTube
Today, not only has Owen bloomed into a lively and confident boy, but people’s outlook toward him has also changed drastically. Earlier, he was always pitied as the “odd one out” among his peers. But now, everyone he meets automatically focuses on his precious bond with Haatchi, instead of making him feel inadequate or unlucky. Always trust a dog to turn the negatives of lives into positives!
Click the video below to watch how Haatchi’s unconditional love ushered a wave of upbeat changes in Owen’s life.
Please ‘SHARE’ to pass on this story to a friend or family member