This Australian boy and his dog share a unique bond, as well as a unique condition — they were both born with dwarfism.
Quaden Bayles, a 5-year-old from Brisbane, was born with achondroplasia, a common form of dwarfism.
"Quaden didn't like us using the words 'dwarfism' or 'achondroplasia,'" his mom, Yarraka Bayles told InsideEdition.com. "He has been really struggling lately, and has a hard time accepting the fact that he has dwarfism."
She said her son has always grown up self conscious, especialy since people online and in public have been quick to point out that he's different.
A week ago, Yarraka told InsideEdition.com that their friend, who is a vet, reached out about a rescue dog looking for a new home.
"I wasn't too keen at first, but we went over for dinner and as soon as we saw Buddy, there was an instant connection," she said.
Like 5-year-old Quaden, the rescue Shih Tzu was also born with dwarfism.
Even though she proposed that the family would spend a couple days deciding whether they would keep the 9-year-old dog, Yarraka said, "My kids fell in love with him. So we just had to have him."
The dog's relationship with the boy quickly blossomed. Yarruka told InsideEdition.com that from the moment they wake up to the time they go to bed, the pair are inseparable.
"They already look after each other in their own special way," Yarruka said, "but, [Quaden] gets a little jealous if anyone else gets too close as he is very protective over Buddy already."
But, the 9-year-old Shih Tzu is more than a good friend to the boy. Yarruka said that since the dog has joined their family, Quaden's self-confidence has skyrocketted, and he is now proud to tell strangers he has dwarfism, just like his dog.
"Buddy has helped [Quaden] embrace his differences," the boy's mom said. "He doesn't worry about the people staring in public, because [people] just see a cute puppy with a cool, confident kid."
Yarruka said Buddy has done more than just helped Quaden out of his shell. Buddy has extended his positive influence to the whole family.
"Buddy is having such a positive impact on the whole family because we are bonding more," Yarruka said. "He's brought so much love and joy back into our family after the passing of my father, who died of cancer five weeks ago."
Buddy the Shih Tzu has even since become the mascot for Quaden's Facebook page, Stand Tall 4 Dwarfism.