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AUSTRALIA – A 5-year-old boy bullied for his dwarfism has a new pet who is giving him the confidence he desperately needed.

Quaden Bayles of Australia was diagnosed with achondroplasia. According to, Quaden disliked his disability so much that he banned his family from even using the word “dwarfism.”

His mom, Yarraka Bayles, told TODAY that he was picked on relentlessly.

“Shopping centers are the worst. He had a kid come straight up to his face last month at our shopping center and say, ‘Oooh, yuck!’ People think he’s just a freak and very openly say, ‘What’s wrong with him? Why does he have such a big head?’ Or they’ll say, ‘He’s ugly. He looks scary,'” said Yarraka.

Quaden only recently started to accept his differences, thanks to some help from Buddy, a 9-year-old shih tzu who also has dwarfism.

Yarraka told Mashable a friend introduced Quaden to Buddy. At first, she was resistant to adopting a new pet, but when she saw how her son bonded with Buddy, she knew it was the right thing to do.

“It was divine intervention, because it’s been the best thing for Quaden,” said Yarraka. “Before Buddy, we could not mention the word ‘dwarfism’ or ‘achondroplasia.'”

Now, Quaden proudly tells people he has dwarfism.

“He said he wants people to meet Buddy because ‘he has dwarfism like me,'” Yarraka told Mashable. “That’s like music to my ears. I prayed for the day he would accept it.”

Quaden’s family posts updates about him to the Facebook page, Stand Tall 4 Dwarfism. If you would like to follow his story, click here.