That is, until Quaden got Buddy. A friend of the family who also happened to be a veterinarian asked the Bayles family to take in the 9-year-old Shih Tzu and the rest was history.
Yarraka said Quaden changed “pretty much overnight.” Now that his dog has dwarfism too, Quaden is confident and thinks having dwarfism is cool. “Buddy has made him accept it as OK, and that we’re in this together,” Yarraka told Today.
Quaden wouldn’t even let his family talk about dwarfism before they got Buddy because he was so insecure. But now that his new BFF has it too, Quaden’s proud of who he is.
“Quaden now proudly accepts that he’s got dwarfism, because Buddy’s given him that reason to think that it’s cool,” Yarraka 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 dwarf or achondroplasia.”
Buddy hasn’t only helped with Quaden’s confidence, though. Yarraka said Buddy’s brought “joy and love” to the whole family. He’s also there for Quaden when he has to go to the hospital.
And now Buddy and Quaden are helping raise awareness for dwarfism together. Buddy’s the new mascot for Stand Tall 4 Dwarfism!
“Buddy has made things better,” Yarraka told Today. “It was divine intervention, definitely – the last thing that I would have expected or wanted, but it’s what we needed, and we’re so blessed. He’s just the perfect companion for all of us, but mostly for Quaden.”