Haatchi & Little B

Wendy Holden


On a bitterly cold night in January 2012, Haatchi the dog was hit over the head, and abandoned on a railway line to be hit by a train. The driver saw the adorable five-month old Anatolian Shepherd moments too late. Somehow, the terrified puppy survived the blood loss from his partially severed leg and tail and managed to crawl away to safety.


Fortunately, Haatchi was rescued, although vets couldn't save his leg and tail. A Facebook appeal brought him to the attention of a couple of kind-hearted dog lovers, Colleen Drummond and Will Howkins, who are also the dad and stepmum of Owen (known to his family as Little B for 'little buddy'). One look at Haatchi's expressive face told them all they needed to know and the lucky dog moved into the Howkins' family home just six weeks after almost being killed.


Owen, now aged eight, has a rare genetic disorder which causes his muscles to tense permanently. Largely confined to a wheelchair, he was withdrawn and anxious and found it difficult to make friends. But when Owen awoke the morning after Haatchi arrived he immediately fell in love with the severely disabled rescue animal who would, in turn, rescue him.


This book tells their inspiring true story - one astonishing little boy and the very special dog who has changed his life forever.



Click here to watch a touching documentary about the family

Read an extract from this book

What the critics say

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Read an Extract


LIFTING his head, he sniffed the chill night air with his wet black nose. He tried to move but the pain was too severe so he slumped back down where he lay between the railway tracks. Peering right and left through amber eyes, he wondered where his human had gone and why he’d been abandoned there in the dark.


Had he done something wrong? Would someone help him?.....


He sensed the train long before he heard it.The metal tracks began to vibrate almost imperceptibly at first. The vibrations increased until they pulsed like an electric current through his body, making him quiver from tip to tail.


Wriggling, he tried once more to raise himself but still couldn’t move. The more he struggled, the more the pain shot through his lower body.


Cocking his head to one side, his finely-tuned hearing picked up the rumbling of the approaching train as the tracks shivered and shook now beneath him.


The spotlights of the freight locomotive loomed towards him like the oncoming headlights of a car. It was an unstoppable machine, heading for its destination - the massive goods yard at New Spitalfields fruit and vegetable market in east London.


Still straining and trying to use his sheer size and strength to overcome the pain that pinned him in the path of the metal monster, the big dog billowed clouds of steamy breath.


No matter how much he wrestled, though, he couldn’t escape.


Whimpering, he turned his head quizzically to look up at the driver illuminated in his cab - completely oblivious to what was about to happen as his linked chain of thirty-ton wagons sped closer and closer to where the creature lay.


The driver couldn’t say later what it was that made him glance down onto the tracks at the last minute. Maybe it was the look in the dog’s eyes or could it have been a final, desperate bark?


Either way, there was nothing he could do but let out a small cry as the train seemed to jolt slightly before rattling on….


What the Critics Say


“This is a story that would melt any heart!” Paul O'Grady


“Definitely a bestseller and if you don't shed a tear get the optician to check your tear ducts… An incredible, uplifting story of triumph over adversity” Dogs Today Magazine


"Incredibly touching...Holden writes movingly", "a heartwarming true story.” The Lady Magazine



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