By Jenny Brown
Sometimes its hard to imagine what life would be like without your pet, especially when it comes to dogs. This especially rings true for 5-year-old Quaden Bayles, a young boy with dwarfism who lives in Australia.
Because of years of bullying, Quaden was uncomfortable about his dwarfism, to the point where he didn’t want his parents to even mention the word. One day though, his parents brought home a rescue dog named Buddy. Buddy is a Shih Tzu who also has a kind of dwarfism called achondroplasia.
Soon after Quaden and Buddy met, they became inseparable. The bond became so strong that it even helped Quaden restore his confidence again, and now he owns his dwarfism.
“Quaden now proudly accepts that he’s got dwarfism, because Buddy’s given him that reason to think that it’s cool,” said Yarraka Bayles, his mother. “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.”
Buddy the Shih Tzu doesn’t only bring up the spirits of Quaden, but it his entire family who lost Quaden’s father to cancer recently.
“Buddy just makes everyone happy. He gets everyone out of bed and has just replaced so much joy and love missing since my dad passed,” said Bayles.
Buddy is even the mascot of a dwarfism awareness group that was set up by Quaden’s mother called Stand Tall 4 Dwarfism. What Buddy has done for Quaden though, is truly remarkable. Quaden was previously depressed by his condition and was frequently made fun of in public, at times even by adults.
Quaden has had 8 surgeries so far and is forced to move around in a wheel chair due to his nerve damage and muscle tone. It helps that the hospital Quaden goes to has a pet area, so that he can keep his best friend Buddy nearby.
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