Thursday, February 20, 2014

A boy with special needs finds his confidence from a special dog


Owen has been diagnosed with an extremely rare condition called Schwartz-Jampel syndrome; approximately 30 people in the world affected by it. His muscles are in a permanent state of tension, which effects his balance and ability to move independently. He has a walking frame, but he uses a wheel chair when out in public. His mom noticed that Owen began disliking going out in public because of what he viewed as negative attention. That all changed when Haatchi came into his life.

Haatchi is an Anatolian shepherd who had been through quite a lot before joining Owen's family. He had one of his back legs amputated after a horrible accident. Haatchi was fixed up by the RSPCA and in need of a home when Owen's mom heard about him from a  Facebook post.

It seemed from the first time Owen and Haatchi met, they were kindred spirits, recognizing that they were each different in their own special way. Haatchi helped take the focus off of Owen and his wheel chair when he was out in public, making Owen more confident and willing to socialize. He enjoys telling people Haatchi's story, which opens the door for further conversations.

Not only has Haatchi help Owen come out of his shell, but they fundraise for different charities together. They even won first place in the Friends for Life award at the Birmingham NEC.

Watch more of Owen and Haatchi's story in this short video directed by Jonna McIver.



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Rachel H's german shepherd dog was best friends with her sister's three legged dog.

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