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In January 2012, Anatolian Shepherd Haatchi was just five months old and already fighting for his life.
His original owner decided he no longer wanted Haatchi, and instead of taking him to a shelter, he struck him over his head and abandoned him on a railroad in North London, England. It was here that Haatchi was hit by a train, an impact that cut off most of his tail and critically injured his left rear leg.
Somehow, Haatchi managed to crawl away to safety and the RSPCA, U.K.’s leading animal welfare charity, discovered him, bringing him to the London North Animal Hospital to undergo an emergency surgery to amputate what was left of his tail and remove his badly damaged leg.
Despite all this stress and pain, Haatchi amazingly pulled through and was later transferred to U.K. German Shepherd Rescue to have a better chance of adoption and eventually came into the care of Ross McCarthy and James Hearle, who run a London dog day care and boarding facility, Dogs and Kisses.
McCarthy and Hearle attempted to find Haatchi a home, asking their “dog loving friends” if anyone could provide him a good home, and a good home he did find!
On Feb. 18, 2012, just six weeks after his amputation operation, Haatchi settled into his forever home with then six-year-old Owen Howkins and his family.
Owen, born with a rare genetic disorder called Schwartz Jampel Syndrome, which causes his muscles to permanently tense, had always struggled to make friends, but as soon as Haatchi entered his life, he had an instant best friend, developing a special bond with the rescue dog early on.
Since their first meeting, Haatchi and Owen have been pretty much inseparable and their incredible story caught the attention of a group of student filmmakers in 2013 from the University of Hertfordshire in England.
Inspired by the deep love and unspoken understanding that they saw, the students decided to craft Haatchi and Owen’s story into a short film, to “raise awareness [about] Schwartz Jampel Syndrome and to show how incredible rescue dogs are,” as reported on YouTube.
What follows is their short film, “A Boy and His Dog” – a video perfect for Valentine’s Day, yes, but also for any day of the year to remind us that love “can go a hell of a long way,” as the filmmakers write.
Image source: Haatchi / Facebook