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Beloved dog 'White Eyed Rowdy' who helped kids with rare condition passes away

White Eyed Rowdy - Photo from Niki Umbenhower's Facebook page

A beloved dog from Canby, Oregon known as 'White Eyed Rowdy' has passed away.

Rowdy was more than just a sweet family pet, he was an inspiration for kids to love themselves despite their differences—specifically, kids with a rare condition called Vitiligo.

KATU News reporter Kellee Azar brought you a story earlier this year of a young boy from Arkansas with the rare condition, which causes white spots to appear on the skin.

The boy, Carter, was infatuated with Rowdy on social media due to the physical similarities they shared.

Rowdy the lab was born with all black fur, but three years ago his owners noticed white spots throughout his body.

It turned out they weren't just cute spots. Rowdy had the rare skin disorder called Vitiligo.

More than 2,000 miles away in Searcy, Arkansas, Carter Blanchard was diagnosed with the same condition around the exact same time.

Carter's mom said he struggled on a daily basis with every new spot that appeared on his face.

Carter, 8, and Rowdy, 13, kept a close digital friendship for years, and this year, they finally got to meet in person!

Watch the video below to see the touching meeting:

The same weekend as Carter and Rowdy's meeting, the dog suffered from a seizure. Doctors said he needed more medical tests to determine what was wrong.

It's not clear what exactly caused Rowdy to pass away, but he was an older dog.

His owner posted on Facebook that "our hearts are beyond broken."

"He will be SO missed!! What and incredible dog, best friend, companion, entertainer, adventurous protector and family pet he was!," wrote Niki Umbenhower on Facebook.

Rest in peace, Rowdy.





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