Little Owen Howkins suffers from a rare genetic condition that leaves him unable to breathe because his muscles are always tense, Schwartz-Jampel syndrome. His world was a lonely one. Meanwhile, a dog tied to a railroad track had tragically lost his leg and tail when hit by a train, but miraculously survived.
Then, boy meets dog and another miracle occurs.
Owen comes alive and Haatchi the dog finds and shares love. Haatchi also is nominated for an award:
Speaking after his nomination last month, Owen said: “I used to be scared of strangers, then Haatchi came along and now I’m not and that’s how he changed my life.
“I didn’t really meet many others with disabilities and felt like the odd one out, which made me really sad.
“But when I saw Haatchi and saw how strong he was, even though he only had three legs, I became stronger myself. I love him so much.”
Haatchi was up against four other dogs for the title of Friends for Life, all selected for their outstanding bravery and devotion to their owners.
The Anatolian shepherd dog won after receiving the most votes from the public.
It’s stories like these that remind me that “dog” spelled backward is “god.” Does anyone doubt that the giant hand of fate brought these two together?
The truth is that canine saboteurs like Haatchi can sabotage sadness, replacing it with joy. Good job, Haatchi.