Thomas Ramey Watson

3-Legged Dog Helps Boy Overcome His Fears (Video)

Seven-year-old Owen Hoskins was so fearful about going outside that he could not leave his house. But then a three-legged dog named Haatchi, an Anatolian Shepherd, came into his life and everything changed.

Owen has a rare genetic condition, Schwartz-Jampel Syndrome, which makes his muscles permanently tense (affecting his mobility) and can cause some facial abnormalities, among other complications. As The Sun notes, he was withdrawn from socializing to the point that his stepmother, Colleen Drummond, said that Owen “was practically agoraphobic” and feared to be around other people.” On starting school, Owen became aware of his differences and, as a result, “even more withdrawn.”

But then his parents, Drummond and Will Hoskins, read about Haatchi on Facebook and adopted the dog from the RSPCA. Like Owen, Haatchi had had what The Sun says was a “difficult start in life.”

“Difficult” is actually a complete understatement: Ten months ago, Haatchi was found tied to a railway line. He had been hit by a train and was found “cowering, with a mangled tail and back leg.” Amazingly, he survived all that trauma. A veterinarian operated on Haatchi and had to amputate his tail and one of his legs.

Haatchi had an immediate effect on Owen once they met. Once scared of strangers, Owen “now wants to talk to everyone about Haatchi and wants to go out all the time to dog shows,” enthuses Drummond who adds that “the difference we see in [Owen] can’t be put into words.” Haatchi has helped with Owen’s medical needs which can require hospitalization. Haatchi even takes “medicine” (a mix of manuka honey, salmon oil and supplements) to help Owen take his.

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