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Owen Howkins is an eight-year-old boy, an All Blacks fan (good man) and he suffers from a rare muscle condition called Schwartz-Jampel Syndrome. Living with the syndrome that approximately 30 people in the world have means the wee lad's muscles are constantly contracted - can you imagine the pain?
Plus, because life can be tough when you look different, Owen used to hate leaving the house and being around strangers who felt compelled to comment on his syndrome, well, until Haatchi came along.
Haatchi, a three-legged Anatolian shepherd dog was found tied to a railway line and had lost one of his legs. Owen's family eventually adopted him and the bond that's developed between the gentle giant of a dog and the battler of a boy is one of the most beautiful and pure things we've ever seen.
"He does look after me and he's special," says Owen of Haatchi.
Adding, "I was scared of strangers but [Haatchi] changed my life to not be scared of strangers now."
The short film 'A Boy and His Dog' was posted last week to help raise awareness of Schwartz-Jampel Syndrome and has had over 1.2 million views in just eight days.
Now excuse us while we run to the bathroom so we can continue to sob without freaking out the rest of the Stuff team.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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