Buddy and Quaden Bayles are best friends. They don't just have love and friendship in common though, Buddy and Quaden both live with a form of dwarfism called achondroplasia.
This Dog Changed The Life Of A Young Boy Bullied Because Of His Rare Condition
They aren't totally alike though — Quaden is a 5-year-old human boy from Australia and Buddy is a Shih Tzu rescue dog.
Buddy came into Quaden's life recently and completely changed it for the better. Before meeting Buddy, Quaden was constantly depressed about his condition. He even forbid his family from saying "dwarfism" or "achondroplasia." Now, with Buddy in his life, he's comfortable with himself and even thinks dwarfism is cool, his mom says.
"Quaden now proudly accepts that he's got dwarfism, because Buddy's given him that reason to think that it's cool," his mom, Yarraka Bayles, told Today. "So he tells everyone, 'My dog has dwarfism like me,' and it's the first time we've ever, in Quaden's five years of life, heard him say the word, because we are not allowed to say dwarfism or achondroplasia."
Quaden's mom explains that a lot of what upset him about his condition was the reactions from strangers — both children and adults — that were often cruel.
"I'm really shocked and appalled that quite a lot of the negative attention comes from adults," she said. "Shopping centers are the worst. He had a kid come straight up to his face last month at our shopping center and say, 'Oooh, yuck!' People think he's just a freak and very openly say, 'What's wrong with him? Why does he have such a big head?' Or they'll say, 'He's ugly. He looks scary.'"
Buddy has completely changed Quaden's perspective. Now, he doesn't just accept who he is, he embraces is.
"Pretty much overnight, it's changed Quaden's confidence. It's been an instant confidence booster, where he's now accepting his diagnosis so happily, like it's cool to have dwarfism now," his mom said.
Buddy has also impacted the rest of the family and helped fill a void left by the passing of Yarraka's father. Buddy is an incredible dog who was destined for this incredible family.