7 year-old Owen Howkins was born with a rare condition called Schwartz-Jampel Syndrome. The syndrome makes all the body’s muscles tense all the time. It’s extremely painful.
Because of his condition he was afraid to interact with others. Owen was very shy around strangers.
This image displays how intense Owen’s muscle seizures are.
There are only 100 known cases of Schwartz-Jampel Syndrome.
Schwartz-Jampel Syndromealso affects Owen’s balance, which confines him often to a wheelchair.
But everything changed the day Owen’s mother adopted an Anatolian Shepherd named Haatchi.
“The first day I met him, he walked up to me, and put his head on my lap.”
When Haatchi was a puppy, he was found tied to railroad tracks. One of his legs was terribly mangled, so it had to be amputated.
The RSPCA tried to find him a home, but they didn’t have any luck. Then Haatchi met Owen.
Owen’s mother said, “In that moment, something incredible happened. The two unique souls bonded, they were instant friends.”
Both Owen and Haatchi had trouble with balance, on a deep level they needed each other.
When Haatchi met Owen his little stump of a tail wouldn’t stop wagging. To that day, nobody had ever seen Haatchi wag his tail, “Haatchi chose Owen.”
The two are inseparable.
Owen once had to go to the hospital for a couple days. When Owen returned, Haatchi would not leave Owen’s side and put his head in Owen’s lap constantly, scared that he may leave again.
Thanks to Haatchi, Owen is no longer scared of strangers. He’s more confident with his self-image than ever before. So confident in fact that he often makes public appearances to spread the word about Schwartz-Jampel Syndrome and tell the inspiring story about himself and his special companion, Haatchi.