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Boy Becomes Instant Best Friends with Dog That Shares His Rare Skin Condition

There’s always been something magical and beautiful about the bond between young kids and their dogs.

I must admit I find myself getting choked up when I see a kid and animal working as best friends, playing together. I suppose I’m even a little jealous of them because I never got to experience it myself as a kid. I never got to live it out in the country with a canine best friend.

Rather, I just had “micro-connections” with the animals in my life. It was those small amounts of time I would get to spend with animals. I would shower them with all my love, essentially living out the life I could have had as a child in a short window of time.

I feel that the heartwarming connection between Carter and his best friend Rowdy is a beautiful reminder of the incredible bond between boy and dog.

This 8-year old from Arkansas suffers from Vitiligo; a rare skin condition that causes the loss of skin pigmentation.

It’s a condition that Rowdy the dog suffers from too.


Rowdy and Carter were able to get together thanks to a crowdfunding campaign. People gave generously to allow these two to form an instant connection. While Rowdy the Labrador is getting close to being 14-years old, he was only diagnosed with vitiligo around 3 years ago – around the same time as Carter.

Posted by Niki Beiser Umbenhower on Saturday, March 18, 2017

Carter’s mom Stephanie Adock says Carter was struggling with his condition before he found online pictures of Rowdy.

Adock gave an interview with Katu, in which she said “I used to pick up Carter from school from kindergarten and first grade, and the first thing he would say is that he hates his face and hates his skin. I read that Rowdy had vitiligo and I was blown away. When I showed Carter he was so excited to see a dog that was famous for his vitiligo.”

The crowdfunding campaign was arranged on GoFundMe, and it allowed not just Carter, but also a young girl called Ada to meet Rowdy in person/dog.

Recruited as a mascot, this pup is doing what he can to help children with vitiligo fight low self-esteem and depression.

Posted by Upworthy on Monday, September 19, 2016

The only problem is Rowdy is getting old name, something that has his owner concerned.

His owner, Niki Umbenhower, says “I feel like he has so much more work to do, but his health is definitely more of a senior dog,”

Niki has hopes that Rowdy has a good few years left in him so that he can continue to help others.  He wants them to be comfortable about their skin conditions, such as the help he provided for Carter – who has made a complete 180″ turn according to his mother.

What do you think?

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