Photo by Twitter
Humans are often known to change lives of others. But would it sound aberrant if I mention here of a dog who not only brought a change to better but also helped the kids out there who had something in common with this dog.
Rowdy, a white eyed 13 year purebred Labrador, living with his mom Niki Umbenhower, in Canby, Oregon, has broken the stereotypic exhibits to become an internet sensation these days. Not just this, he has won million of hearts with his passionate relationship with the kids suffering from the same disease as him-VITILIGO.
Niki had been observing some white patches near Rowdy’s eyes which she thought to be an ageing sign but it was only later that she discovered it to be Vitiligo – a long term disease characterized by white patches on the skin caused by the destruction of the cells/tissues causing pigmentation. Niki, now could understand the embarrassment people suffering from this disease felt whenever they were out on the street. She refused to give up on it and decided to use this condition of Rowdy to educate people and mark the beginning of a change that Rowdy had to accomplish.
She began this by creating a facebook page for Rowdy. “I have had a crazy life! I am most proud of the fact that I help support children with vitiligo!” Rowdy also has his own website and the YouTube video to create awareness. Very soon, it took all over the internet. People sharing the same disease now easily connected with him, especially the children. Even on streets, Rowdy never failed to grab everyone’s attention and get himself clicked with them, for now he was no less than a celeb.
This internet story rolled around and caught the eyes of an 8-year old Carter Blanchard from Searcy, Arkansas, who found resemblance with Rowdy’s condition and also to the fact that they developed this condition in the same month. The disease now became a bridge between the two.
Stephanie Adcock, the mother of Carter Blanchard, told Oregon television station KATU that Carter had developed this hatred for his face and found it embarrassing in school or in public places. Stephanie did all that she could to get her child a normal life, but the faded colour of Carter’s skin wouldn’t let her do so. Finding Rowdy, a famous Vitiligo attacked dog, on the internet somewhere arouse that hope in her. It was then that she showed the you-tube videos and facebook page of Rowdy to Carter, only to find a huge bright smile on her son’s face.
Carter was excited to find Rowdy and to know that he shared the same traits with Rowdy which made him famous. Carter and Rowdy became long-distant but good friends. This virtual friendship not just changed Carter’s perspective towards his life but also helped other kids out there.
Rowdy headed toward his declining days and it was then that Carter decided to meet him finally. A GoFundMe page was set up on March 15 to raise money for Blancard to fly to Oregon to meet his penpal. It was called ‘Road To Rowdy.’ One anonymous donor who saw the story on KATU news donated $5,000 for the mother and son to travel on a plane on March 18 to meet Rowdy.
This unconventional special friends’ pictures and videos took over the entire internet.