Haatchi's story soon collides with the story of Owen, affectionately known as Little B who has a rare genetic disorder that causes his muscles to contract - a disorder so rare that only a few people in the world are known to have it. Loved completely by his parents, Little B is a brave little soul who you can't help but cheer for despite the challenges he faces on a daily basis. When his parents divorced it was not the end of the world, but the beginning of a new one with the introduction of Colleen into their family, but Colleen is not the miracle worker who brought Little B out of his shell - that was Haatchi.
An Anatolian shepherd is not a small dog, and there was some concern that Haatchi would not be able to lead a normal life because large dogs often fail to thrive as a "tripod" - their massive weight is simply too much for their single back limb to manage. Haatchi landed on his paws though, as his family makes sure that he receives all the care he needs to remain happy and healthy, and that love is repaid through a very special friendship that develops between Haatchi and Little B. Through the good times and the bad, the trials and the tribulations, Little B and Haatchi are side-by-side - a shining example of the love between a boy and his dog, a friendship that has broken down barriers and brought sunshine into the lives of thousands (if not millions ) of people all around the world.
There are some truly amazing stories out there about the benefits of the human companion animal bond, and Haatchi and Little B is one of the few books about the HCAB between an animal and a child. The story itself is deceptively simple - a boy facing medical challenges meets a dog who is also facing medical challenges and together they forge a deep friendship and never let the world get them down. Built around this deceptively simple story is the romance between his dad and his step mother to be, the challenges his parents faced (and face) with diagnosis and treatment, the amazing touch of karma that seems to be supporting them all, and the lives of the people they touch.
The one disappointment for me was the writing style of the author which seemed jerky at times and at other times seemed to have some errors - it was also a bit wonky in places with timing seeming to go back and forth in time every now and then rather than keeping the story fluid and linear. It was a bug bear rather than a turn off, but it did take some of the shine off the story. The colour plates in the book are gorgeous and touching, and show the love Little B and Haatchi share for each other.
If you like this book then try:
- A friend like Henry by Nuala Gardner
- Emma and I by Sheila Hocken
- Cowboy & Wills by Monica Holloway
- Finding Harmony by Sally Hyder
- A puppy called Aero by Liam Creed
- The dog who rescues cats by Philip Gonzalez
- Endal by Sandra and Allen Parton
- Until Tuesday: A wounded warrior and the dog who saved him by Luis Carlos Montalvan
- Let Buster lead by Deborah Dozier Potter
- Thunder dog: The true story of a blind man, his guide dog, and the triumph of trust at ground zero by Michael Hingson with Susy Flory
- Partners for life: True stories of canine heroes by Jane Bidder
- Puppy chow is better than Prozac by Bruce Goldstein
- A street cat named Bob by James Bowen
- Dewey: The small-town library cat who touched the world by Vicki Myron & Bret Witter
- Homer's odyssey: A fearless feline tale, or how I learned about love and life with a blind wonder cat by Gwen Cooper