Quaden Bayles’ new Shih Tzu rescue dog Buddy is helping him fight bullying and finally find happiness. How? Buddy has dwarfism just like him.
The five-year-old Australian boy was diagnosed with the most common form of dwarfism called achondroplasia when he was just three days old. He made news last year when his mother Yarraka discussed their campaign Stand Tall 4 Dwarfism, which raises awareness and combats the stigma around dwarfism. Yarraka also opened up about Quaden’s health problems and multiple surgeries.
Yarraka has discussed the heartbreaking bullying Quaden has faced throughout his life. People wrote horrible comments online and even openly bullied Quaden in the street. “He sees people staring before I do sometimes,” Yarraka told the Daily Mail back in September. “Some people will judge him on his physical appearance and think otherwise, but they’re really not worth the energy. There are so many uneducated people in the world – it’s really sad that they don’t get to see the joy.”
This, obviously, was severely hurtful to the five-year-old. Quaden became angry and depressed and even said he wished “he was dead.” For years, nothing could help Quaden overcome the depression he suffered from the bullying: not his mom and not his professional counselor.