This is Rowdy the black lab. Rowdy has a skin condition called vitiligo, which causes some of his skin to lose its pigmentation. (Hence the adorable white spots around his eyes.)

Recruited as a mascot, this pup is doing what he can to help children with vitiligo fight low self-esteem and depression.

Posted by Upworthy on Monday, September 19, 2016

The interesting thing about vitiligo is that humans can suffer from it, too. It can cause people who have it, especially young kids, to feel self-conscious or even depressed. Rowdy wants to help those kids out.

Thanks to a recent crowdfunding campaign, Rowdy, who lives with his owner in Oregon, was able to meet an 8-year-old boy by the name of Carter, who is from Arkansas and also has vitiligo. The two became instant friends.


Carter's mom, Stephanie Adcock, told local news station KATU that Carter really struggled with his vitiligo before he saw Rowdy's photos online.

"I used to pick up Carter from school from kindergarten and first grade, and the first thing he would say is that he hates his face and hates his skin. I read that Rowdy had vitiligo and I was blown away, and when I showed Carter he was so excited to see a dog that was famous for his vitiligo," she said. Since meeting Rowdy, Carter's mom says her son has made a "complete 180."


The GoFundMe also helped Rowdy meet Ava, a little girl from Ontario, Canada.

Though Rowdy still looks like a cute lil' pup, he's actually 14-years-old and starting to have some health problems.

"I feel like he has so much more work to do, but his health is definitely more of a senior dog," Rowdy's owner Niki Umbenhower said. But he seems to be a resilient pup, so we're sure he's got a lot more smiles to put on people's faces.

Sources: Distractify