Disabled Dog Saves Handicapped Boy

The Story of Owen and Haatchi

This post is for animal lovers who enjoy a sweet story about the human-animal bond, and how Owen Howkins, a handicapped 9 year old boys’ life was turned, around with the help of his disabled, 3-legged canine friend, Haatchi.

Owen was born with  Schwartz-Jampel Syndrom, a rare, painful condition, that causes muscles to permanently contract, resulting in severe muscle stiffness.

Owen y Haatchi 2
Owen and his dog Haatchi

Haatchi, an Anatolian Shepherd was abandoned on railroad tracks, when he was 5 months old.  He was hit by a train, and left to die.

The dog was rescued, brought to a local animal shelter, and then adopted by Owen’s parents.

Owen states “I didn’t really meet many others with disabilities and felt like the odd one out, which made me really sad. But when I saw Haatchi , and saw how strong he was, even though he only had three legs, I became stronger myself. I love him so much.”

I’ve followed this story on You Tube, and decided to post it on my blog.  If you go to You Tube and search for Owen and Haatchi, you’ll find many videos of their continuing story there.

Copyright 2015 Irene Pastore and Tour De Core Personal Training

Healthy Pets Lead To Healthy People

An initiative is underway in Los Angeles to promote human and animal health.  The ecological concept that the two are linked, is supported by the American Medical Association, the American Veterinary Medical Association, and the Centers for Disease Control.

Healthy Pets, Healthy Families coalition will focus on creating educational campaigns, and other strategies to meet its goals of disease prevention in humans and animals.

Some of the health issues prompting the formation of the campaign is the rise in animal obesity, the development of cancer in animals from exposure to second hand smoke, the effects of disasters on companion animals and their people, due to lack of preparation, and the prevention of contagious parasitic diseases.


Fur Fitness

Healthy Pets, Healthy Families

Association for Pet Obesity Prevention

Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

Copyright 2013 Irene Pastore and Blue Moon Personal Training

Blind Horses

Through the kindness of  people who run rescue farms and ranches, visually impaired horses are given a second chance.  

Many of the animal rescues were abandoned, abused, underfed, and suffering from diseases related to malnutrition and neglect.

Resources follow for anyone interested in caring, volunteering, adopting, or donating to organizations that help blind horses, and donkeys.


BlindHorses.org.  Operates Rolling Dog Farm, that cares for disabled dogs and horses.  Provides information for owners of blind horses: how to care for a blind horse, eye diseases, myths, and what to do if your horse is losing its vision. Accepts donations.  Located in Lancaster, NH.

FlurrysHope. com.  Second chances for blind horses. Rescue, how to care for blind horses, information about equine eye disorders, adoptions.  The only rescue in the nation that rides blind horses.  Accepts donations. Located in Madison, NC.

HartSong Ranch Animal Sanctuary.  Rescue and sanctuary for blind and disabled horses, and other farm animals. Advocacy and education.  Accepts donations.  Located in Greenwood, CA

Lost Acres Horse Rescue and Rehabilitation.  Safe haven for abused, neglected, severely disabled, blind horses and donkeys.  Accepts donations. Located in Chillicothe, OH

Horse Net Horse Rescue.  Non-profit, volunteer organization that operates on donations.  Specializes in seniors and blind horses.  Rehabilitation and rehoming of homeless horses.  Located in Mount Airy, Maryland.

Copyright 2013 Irene Pastore and Blue Moon Personal Training

Disabled Dog Gets Prosthetic Legs

Naki’o, the world’s first dog to receive four prosthetic limbs.

In 2011 a puppy was found abandoned, and near death in a foreclosed home in Nebraska.  Four paws and tail were frozen in a puddle of water in the basement of the house.

Naki’o was brought to a local shelter, and nursed back to health.  Through the internet, veterinarian assistant Christine Pace read about his story, and decided to adopt him.

Christine raised money so that Naki’o could be fitted with two prosthetic rear legs, designed and fitted by Orthopets in Denver, Colorado.  Naki’o adapted so well to his new legs, that the company designed prosthetics for both front legs, free of charge.

Read the entire story about Nakio’s rescue, and his new home, at Orthopets.com.

Copyright 2013 Irene Pastore and Blue Moon Personal Training

Doggie Water Therapy

Dog wearing life vest.

Water is a non weight-bearing medium that allows injured, arthritic, or senior dogs to exercise without discomfort.

Your dog will benefit by having reduced muscular tension, stress and anxiety, increased range of motion, pain reduction, improved circulation and muscle tone.

Canine Conditions Treated  With Water Therapy

  • Arthritis
  • Obesity
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Strokes
  • Surgery recovery
  • Joint stiffness
  • Fractured pelvis
  • Senior dogs with joint problems
  • Extreme pain
  • Joint inflammation such as elbow and hip dysplasia
  • Degenerative nerve disease
  • Rebuilding muscle
  • Prevents euthanasia

How To Choose A Facility

  • Get a referral from your veterinarian.
  • Ask for a tour of the facility.  Find out how often the pools are cleaned, what chemicals are used, and whether vaccinations are required.
  • Be sure the handlers and staff are licensed in canine water rehab therapy.
  • Find out what type of equipment they use.
  • Inspect the facility for overall cleanliness.


The Association of Pet Water Therapists: This site will help you find a practitioner in your area.

Petcentric.com: An excellent article about canine hydrotherapy from Purina.

Petside.com: An informative article about what to expect from pet water therapy from an educational website for animal lovers.

Water4Dogs.com: the first state-of-the art animal rehab center in New York City.

Copyright 2013 Irene Pastore and Blue Moon Personal Training