For a 5-year-old Australian boy born with dwarfism, life has been an emotional roller coaster. While he receives lots of love at home from his mom and siblings, it is out of his home where he encounters bullies who can’t accept the fact that Quaden Bayles is different. And all that negativity left him depressed and angry.
A veterinarian who is a family friend asked the Bayles’ to take Buddy in. And when they agreed, the transformation of Quaden from a depressed and angry little boy to a vibrant and happy kid began almost immediately, according to Quaden’s mom.
“Pretty much overnight, it’s changed Quaden’s confidence,” Quaden’s mom, Yarraka Bayles, told Today. “It’s been an instant confidence booster, where he’s now accepting his diagnosis so happily, like it’s cool to have dwarfism now. Buddy has made him accept it as OK, and that we’re in this together. That’s been the biggest impact on all of us, because we’re not having to hide or try to remember we’re not allowed to say certain words.”
Before Buddy became a part of Quaden’s family, the young boy would not allow his mother and sisters to talk about the condition that he was born with. So for the first five years of his life, there was no mention of the condition that prevented him from growing normally. Now that Quaden has Buddy, the boy’s demeanor has changed for the better.
“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 dwarfism or achondroplasia.”
In addition to being an integral part of the Bayles family, Buddy also serves as the mascot to Stand Tall 4 Dwarfism, a dwarfism awareness group set up by Qauden’s mom. Buddy has been there to comfort Quaden as he has gone through an ongoing series of surgeries related to his condition, staying in the pet area of the hospital to keep close to Quaden as he recovers.
“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.”