An Anatolian Shepherd named Haatchi overcame a terrible act of cruelty to become the best friend and inspiration for a young boy with a rare genetic condition. Owen Hawkins is 7-years-old and has Schwartz-Jampel syndrome, a condition which causes his muscles to constantly seize involuntarily. Before he met Haatchi he was agraphobic and socially withdrawn.
Haatchi was not yet a year old had endured an unimaginable and frightening act of cruelty. In January 2012, Haatchi was deliberately tied to a railway line in North London and was hit by a train. His tail was severed and his rear leg severely damaged. Haatchi managed to stagger away and hid for around 5 days before he was rescued by the RSPCA. Unfortunately, due to infection, his leg and tail had to be amputated. He was immediately fostered but was attacked by another dog in the home and returned to the RSPCA, where they struggled with the decision to put him down.
But a staff member did not want to give up on the dog and called UK German Shepherd Rescue who has a No Kill policy for help. The rescuers began to look for a loving home for Haatchi, and that's when Colleen and Will Howkins saw a post on Facebook and decided to visit Haatchi. On February 18, six weeks after Haatchi had had his operation, the couple took him to his new home. When Haatchi met Owen the pair bonded immediately and began to support each other. Colleen, who has been with Owen since he was three, says Haatchi's effect on Owen was immediate. (Click here to read the rest of this wonderful story from Dog Heirs.)