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 As The Sun notes, he was withdrawn from socializing to the point that his stepmother, Colleen Drummond, said that Owen “was practically agoraphobic” and feared to be around other people.” On starting school, Owen became aware of his differences and, as a result, “even more withdrawn.”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.

For his (another understatement!) positive impact on Owen’s life, Haatchi won an award from the International Fund for Animal Welfare which was presented at an Animal Action Awards event at the House of Lord. He has also completed training as a Pets as Therapy dog and will visit soldiers injured in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as children who are terminally ill.

Most of all, Haatchi has opened up the world for Owen. Here’s a video of Haatchi playing with his first toy:


There are updates about Haatchi and Owen via Facebook including photos of the IFAW award ceremony.

It has to be said: Hats off to Haatchi!


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Photo: JasonBechtel/flickr


Virginia A.

We like to think we care for dogs and help them. It's true. But life keeps showing that dogs care for us and help us all the time.

Georgeta Trandafir

beautiful story

Past Member
Past Member 4 years ago

That video actually made me teary. What a great boy. What a great story. What a great family. YAY!!!

Pat Armstrong
P A4 years ago

Wonderful people who rescued this poor dog, then operated on him, then adopted him, then also trained him to help amputees and terminally ill children - utterly, utterly WONDERFUL!

Claudia Cavallo
Claudia Cavallo4 years ago

Very nice story. I'm sure haatchi did a lot good to the boy, just like my dog does to me every day: I just look in his eyes and I feel better

Carrie Anne Brown
Carrie-Anne B4 years ago

great article, thanks for sharing :)

Lisa D.
Lisa D4 years ago

What a wonderful story!

Anusha Amma
Anusha Amma4 years ago

Love shared

Pravallika Amma
Pravallika Amma4 years ago

Love shared

Anusha Amma
Anusha Amma4 years ago

What a touching story! Thank you to all involved in saving and caring for this poor dog! And best wishes to Owen and his parents