Animals are amazing in so many levels and in so many ways. They can lift your spirit when it’s crashed and they can restore your faith in life. Like in this story, in which a dog helped a little boy find acceptance in his life and made the sun in his heart shine again.
Quaden is a 5-year old Australian boy with achondroplasia, the most common form of dwarfism, who sadly has been victim of bullying because of his condition. His mother, Yarraka Bayles says he gets bullied not only by children, but also by adults.
“All I’ve ever wanted for Quaden was for him to be happy and healthy. But by putting ourselves out there, it also gave bullies an opportunity to put him down. I’ve been able to shield him from most of it, but I can’t stop people gawking at him in the streets or pointing and laughing. As soon as Quaden realized he was different from everyone else, I tried really hard to make him see it as a positive (…) but nothing I said helped boost his confidence. The jibes really got him down.”
It got to the point that Quaden was so ashamed of his condition that he banned the use of the word dwarfism at home. In addition to that, his grandfather recently died of cancer leaving him not only insecure but sad and heartbroken. Nothing a 5-year old should have to live.
But his life took a turn for the best when they adopted a 9-year old shih tzu who also suffers from dwarfism. This lifted Quaden’s confidence and changed the way he perceived himself. He started feeling proud of his condition and the word was not banned anymore.
Buddy has been part of Quaden’s life for only three weeks but they are inseparable. He has helped him accept that being different is ok. Yarraka told Mashable:
“It’s really been a blessing in disguise, because it’s teaching people more about dwarfism. And animals do have dwarfism, not just humans either. It’s been really good for dwarfism awareness”
She even started a Facebook campaign –Stand Tall For Dwarfism– to raise awareness and increase tolerance, but also for Quaden to feel also love and support.
This is a great story because it shows us the healing power animals have; they don’t judge or make you feel different because they don’t ever feel that way. Hopefully the world will one day learn from them.