Dog owner Niki Umbenhower was a very hands-on pet owner. She’s been with Rowdy, a black Labrador Retriever, ever since she could remember. When Rowdy turned 11, Umbenhower noticed that his black fur slowly showed some white spots in different areas of his body.
Scared of what it could had been, she immediately took Rowdy to the veterinarian. Rowdy was then diagnosed with vitiligo, which is a very rare skin condition that occurs when the cells responsible for producing pigment stop functioning, which result to the skin losing color.
There’s treatment for it, but it cannot be cured.
Because of the rareness of the dog’s condition, it became quite a story in the United States. So about 2,000 miles away from where Rowdy lives, an eight-year-old boy heard about his story and was intrigued.
Carter Blachard was also diagnosed with vitiligo, and it had affected his life poorly. When he learned that a dog with the same condition living thousands of miles away from him, he knew he needed to see him.
He managed to communicate with Umbenhower so he could take a look at Rowdy through video calls. But for Stephanie, Carter’s mother, she knew her son should meet Rowdy in person. So after a year of communicating online, Carter and Rowdy finally met in person.
“Really, it was life changing for him. It changed his childhood for the better. It was a gift I couldn’t give him,” Stephanie told KATU-TV. “It couldn’t be any other person that made him feel better. It had to be Rowdy. It had to be a dog.”
Carter and Rowdy immediately hit it off when they met and found a best friend in each other. Though Rowdy cannot talk, he completely helped Carter regain his confidence back.
Photos: ABC 7
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