3-legged rescue dog changes life of boy with rare disorder - WKRN News 2

3-legged rescue dog changes life of boy with rare genetic disorder

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LONDON, England -

A seven-year-old boy with a rare genetic disorder has a newfound sense of confidence thanks to a three-legged rescue dog named Haatchi.

The story of Owen Howkins and his pet went viral after students at the University of Hertfordshire in the United Kingdom created a short film for their documentary filmmaking course.

The film highlights the relationship between Owen, who suffers from Schwartz Jampel Syndrome, and Haatchi, a dog found tied to a train track and injured.

Schwartz Jampel Syndrome causes Owen's muscles to constantly tense, which led him to become afraid of interacting with other people, particularly strangers.

Haatchi, an Antolian Shepherd, also lives with a physical disadvantage after being found tied to a train track and run over.  Both his tail and one of his back legs were severely damaged.

After being saved by a local organization, Owen's step-mother and father saw a Facebook post about Haatchi needing a home and decided to adopt him.

In the video, the family says the bond between Own and Haatchi was immediate.  They say Owen always struggled with being different, causing him to become withdrawn and uncomfortable around strangers.

Once Haatchi came into the picture, though, Owen says it made him incredibly happy.  It gave him confidence in himself since Haatchi, too, suffered a physical difference.

"I was scared of strangers, but Haatchi changed my life to not be scared of strangers now," he said.

"We like going for walks. We get together in my electric wheelchair and go to dog shows and Crufts, the biggest dog show in the whole UK," Owen shared.

In fact, the duo won first place in the Friends for Life category at the Crufts Dog Show, taking home a trophy in front of a cheering crowd of thousands.

To watch the heart warming short film, visit the YouTube page "A Boy and His Dog."

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