Documentary chronicles disabled boy's bond with dog - New York News

Documentary chronicles disabled boy's bond with dog

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Everything changed for Owen Howkins of Hampshire, England, when he met his family's new dog for the first time. The 8-year-old boy suffers from a rare genetic disorder and needs a wheel chair. He was too embarrassed to leave the house until he met Haatchi.

"I felt really really happy, everything changed in my life with him," Owen says in a new documentary. The two are inseparable and go everywhere together. But Haatchi has had his share of struggles, too. The shepherd was tied to a rail line, hit by a train, and lost his back leg.

Owen was 3 when his family adopted Haatchi. Their story is so touching that Owen decided to document it in a book he has written called "Haatchi and Little B."

Christina Travalja, the shelter director of North Shore Animal League in Port Washington, Long Island, says the dog apparently took away Owen's anxiety. She says pets are helpful in treating sick people because they offer a different kind of support than humans.

"The pet can be very intuitive to their feelings," she says. "A pet never judges you, they will be there whenever you need them a lot of times they'll know."

That kind of friend can help us through anything.

Workers at the North Shore Animal League say dogs with tough beginnings like Haatchi are just so happy to be home. They offer an extra layer of unconditional love.

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