Little boy and dog with the same rare skin condition become best friends thanks to anonymous stranger
A little boy who lives with a rare skin condition has made a new friend in a dog with the same disorder after an anonymous donation brought the pair together.
Eight-year-old Carter Blanchard from Arkansas, USA, flew to Oregon to meet a black Labrador named Rowdy, who also lives with vitiligo.
Carter and his mum Stephanie Adcock were able to meet the Oregon-based pooch and his owner Niki Umbenhower thanks to a donation made by an anonymous stranger, who saw the pair's story on a local news network.
The new found friends first met digitally, as Carter's mum showed her little boy pictures and updates from Rowdy on Instagram and Facebook, posted by his owner Niki.
Speaking to the Oregon news network KUTU, Carter's mom Stephanie said her son struggled with his appearance in the past, but coming into contact with Rowdy has helped improve his confidence.
"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,” she said.
"[Rowdy] really changed the way he saw his own skin.
"It wasn’t a problem anymore. So ever since then, we have been keeping in touch."
UPDATE ON ROWDY . Rowdy saw a neurologist in the ER today. They are not sure if it was a seizure or a stroke or something else. They did a lot of tests and without a "much needed" (expensive) MRI and CT Scan, we may never know. He could have a tumor or a mass causing a lot of his issues. . We left with them prescribing a new medication for seizures as well as some codeine for his pain. This could be age related, an isolated event, or he may have more episodes like today. . I want to thank EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU for the prayers, well wishes, and support! It is truly overwhelming to see the kindness and love this pup has from around the world! We love you all! Please continue to follow along the amazing adventure we are having with Carter and his mom from Arkansas! While Rowdy started his day with a scare and a trip to the ER, he was able to end it meeting up with Carter, another beautiful little girl Emma from Eugene, and some dear family friends for a play date and then squeezed in a photo shoot to boot. . This dog never ceases to amaze me with his resilience!!
Rowdy's owner is currently crowd-funding to raise funds to support the dog's medical costs and said she hopes he will be able to help other children with the skin condition in the future.
"Unfortunately, he is approaching 14 years old in May and has some very serious issues going on with his health. At the moment, we are unable to take him out of the house to do his good work," said Niki.