To The Dog We Thought We'd Have Forever

To the Dog We Thought We'd Have Forever

If you grew up with a dog, you understand the irrational thought that he / she would live forever.

You went through so many stages of life with a companion that shared everything with you.

Your first Christmas.

Your first kiss.

Your first car

First day of high school.

Last day of high school.

Going to college.

Then one day you wake up and realize how far you’ve gone in life and it seems like yesterday your dog was still a puppy sleeping next to you in bed.

It’s a scary feeling.

Feeling like life is slipping through your fingers one phase at a time, and you can’t quite grab it and enjoy it in the moment.

One day you’re a kid playing with your dog outside…

Then one day you’re in college and you get a call saying your best friend for fifteen years past away…

Then one day your kids are leaving you for college.

It makes my mind go crazy thinking about the past and getting depressive.

That I should’ve enjoyed something a little bit more, I wasn’t appreciative enough of somebody, or I should’ve done something different.

Then I’ll start thinking about the future and get anxiety wondering what I need to do better to plan a life checklist that will lead to success and happiness.

However, when I think about my dog, it reminds me to stay in the present.

I need to take more moments of looking around and feeling grateful for what’s around me because one day you’ll wake up and realize how much things have changed, with only your memory to look back on.

If there’s something special in your life, take a second to really engrain it into your memory.

Regret is one of the worst feelings, especially when it’s regarding something you can’t fix.

I thought my dog would live forever, and I feel like I didn’t take enough time to really look at him and appreciate everything.

Now that he’s gone, I have a lot of happy memories to look to for comfort, but I still feel as if I should’ve done more.

Life can seem fleeting, but if I think if I slow down my thinking and really focus on what I have around me in this present moment, it wont change how fast life goes but it will make it seem not as bad.

It provides a nostalgic feeling of happiness.

Not all of life’s most fulfilling ones are ecstatic and happy.

I think to get the most out of life you need to experience a regretful sadness, as it’ll show you how valuable the little things are.

I thought I’d have my dog forever, but I’m lucky to have learned so much from him.

I learned how to connect with something.

What real relationships feel like, so I can better maneuver through the smoke and mirrors that come along.

I felt a sense of security knowing that there was somebody looking forward to see me every single day.

I learned companionship walking through my small town and seeing him look back every five steps to make sure I was still there.

I thought my dog would live forever, but looking back I’m kind of glad he didn’t.

That sounds terrible but keeping a dog forever would be a cop out.

Growing up with a dog is a priceless life lesson.

If you’re a parent thinking about getting your children a puppy. Do it.

Your child will learn a ton and feel the rollercoaster of growing with something then losing it, teaching appreciation.

I feel like I don’t express my appreciation enough, but I think my dog taught me a lesson while I’m young that’s hard to learn, and that’s to be present in the moment and be grateful for what you have.

- White Eyed Rowdy


 

 

 

 

 

Movie-Like Beginning, Thank You, And Need For Conversation

A Movie-Like Beginning, A Thank You, And The Need For Conversation

Movie-Like Beginning

I remember a couple years ago when Rowdy started to spark some attention through social media.

At the time, I thought it was really cool, but the significance of everything wasn’t clear to me.

It started on Instagram.

People from around the world talk about how cool his spots were, and he eventually harvested the curiosity of enough people to get him checked out by the vet.

We started taking him on adventures around Portland and people were so intrigued that his perfectly symmetrical spots evolved him into a local celebrity.

Some friends mentioned that it may be Vitiligo, however, we weren’t sure so we decided to get him a professional diagnosis.

Once the vet officially identified his spots as Vitiligo, we started spreading the word about what caused the unique look, and eventually messages started appearing from people who also had Vitiligo.

We always knew the “condition” as the same disease that Michael Jackson had, but we didn’t understand it and how many people it really effects emotionally and psychologically.

Since it developed in Rowdy, we thought we should do some more research and start spreading the word through our beautiful dog.

At first, Rowdy was a local celebrity because of his cool, unique appearance.

But we soon learned that Rowdy was much more.

The attention he garnered pushed him into the spotlight with an opportunity to really help people who felt a connection to him.

With the help of a lot of people, he was a piece in ushering a new understanding of Vitiligo being perceived as cool, unique and picturesque, rather than a disease to cure.

There were a lot of helping hands in spreading the unique beauty of Vitiligo, and Rowdy held multiple events that brought these wonderful people into one setting of happiness and contentment.

However, how the next phase of Rowdy’s accomplishments started were movie-like, so we must share them.

Carter, who’s a young boy with Vitiligo, struggled with his appearance growing up but would light up every time he saw Rowdy on Instagram.

Carter used to tell his mom that he hated his face, but his attitude toward his appearance started to change when his relationship with Rowdy grew.

The more Rowdy shared his unique beauty, the more Carter grew confidence and started sharing his “condition” with pride.

Rowdy and Carter kept a relationship through social media for a while but word of this story started to spread.

Soon enough there were viral videos zooming through social media and major news stations were doing reports on live television.

Our family was approached left and right by interviewers wanting to report on the story, and what happened next is just another example of how none of this could’ve been by chance.

Check out more about this story here:

http://katu.com/news/local/beloved-dog-white-eyed-rowdywho-helped-kids-with-rare-condition-passes-away
 

A Thank You

Carter lived across the country from Rowdy, so turning a digital relationship into a physical one was difficult to do.

Luckily, we had the help of a couple generous people with setting up a Go-Fund-Me account to try and bring Carter to Rowdy.

It started off slow, but one of the news stations that did a story on Rowdy and Carter received a call from an older lady from Oregon.

She was so touched by the story that she offered to pay for the entire trip and the best part is that she wished to stay anonymous.

Carter had the amazing opportunity to fly across the country and meet the dog that changed a lot for him.

This event opened up many doors to grow relationships with other kids with Vitiligo such as Ava.

Here’s another article showing Ava and Rowdy:

https://www.today.com/parents/dog-vitiligo-meets-kids-condition-t109989

You guys, Rowdy’s amazing fans, helped fund several other events bringing kids with Vitiligo into one room and helping show each other their beauty by having fun and spreading smiles.

Rowdy was just a small piece of a gigantic paranormal puzzle made of people like Carter, Ava, anonymous donors, Sit! Stay! Photography, our Go-Fund-Me manager and our superfans that continue to follow Rowdy because of the unique connection they share.

There have been too many generous hands that created change in the world through Rowdy and it’s impossible to name them all, so if we didn’t mention you, we thank you.

Rowdy promises to pay the generosity forward.

The Need For Conversation

A lot of why Rowdy has spread so much is because of word of mouth.

An idea trickles around the world through casual conversations by you, the Rowdy fan who’s reading this right now.

Whether it’s a technological innovation such as the iPhone, a medical innovation like the MRI, a revolutionary innovation like our declaration of independence, or awareness of social issues, the diffusion of ideas starts through the mouths of you.

Rowdy has been the reason for conversation that helped increase awareness of Vitiligo, and he’s continuing his mission to try and increase confidence and comfort.

Today, we have a fear of talking about the issues that matter.

With the largest shooting in U.S. history recently occurring in Las Vegas, it’s easy to feel empathy for the families hurt, but how crazy is it that we can’t live in comfort knowing that an event of that magnitude can happen in the blink of an eye.

Yet we read it on the news, feel a sense of fear and sorrow, and then go about our day.

We may mention it to co-workers or friends, but it’s a quick mention that leads to an awkward ambiance quickly followed by small talk.

So how does change really occur?

We’re stuck in an in between phase of understanding what’s wrong with our society but lack an understanding of how to fix it.

We live in a system of different backgrounds, worldviews, and appearances.

People who hunt for sport and people who despise guns.

People who love the environment and people who think economy is most important.

With so many different approaches to our world and the problems that come with it how does a community find balance?

We think it’s through the same conversation that caused Rowdy’s story to spread as much as it has.

Ever since the People’s Republic of China instituted heavy gun control laws, you can notice a major difference in the rates of murder compared to the United States.

America is rated NUMBER ONE IN THE WORLD in violent gun crime and China is ranked ninety-seventh.

Purchasing a gun in China is far more difficult and requires multiple background checks, and punishment regarding gun law is far more severe.

There’s a specific reason for the difference in these numbers.

America is founded on independence and fear of “Big Brother,” or heavy governmental influence, so many people have understandably inherited pride for their right to bear arms.

No matter what background you come from, are fully automatic weapons necessary in the society we live in?

Whether they’re necessary or not, White Eyed Rowdy thinks it’s important to think about events such as the Las Vegas shooting, what may have caused the events, then talk about it.

Sure, maybe heavier gun regulation won’t completely solve the problem and people will still find out how to get an automatic gun one way or another, but do you think it would cut the numbers down?

Conversation leads to formulation of opinions and perhaps understanding.

Understanding leads to change in behavior and maybe people can feel more confident and comfortable in going about their day.

Have confidence in your opinion, open-mindedly share it, and help build a world that you can comfortably wake up and live in without fear or hatred.

Conclusion

That’s all for today, but we have a quick announcement for you.

Many of you have been requesting stories about Rowdy’s many near death experiences.

If you haven’t heard yet, his first near death experience is being shared today through his newsletter.

If you weren’t able to sign up last week, now is your last chance here:

http://www.whiteeyedrowdy.com/newsletter

Talk to you next Friday ;-)

-White Eyed Rowdy

Where Rowdy's Confidence and Comfort Comes From.

Where Does Rowdy’s Confidence and Comfort Come From?

Everybody has the right to be confident and comfortable in their own skin…

The defining characteristics of everything White Eyed Rowdy represents.

However, these characteristics aren’t simply a catch phrase cultivated through attention gained in the media, they derive from something real.

To you passionate fans reading this right now, Rowdy has reached you in a unique way.

He’s just as much your dog as he is ours.

However, “White Eyed Rowdy” still may seem like a story or comic book since much of what you hear from him comes through occasional posts or stories, rather than experiencing it in real life or through a chronological movie/book that would really encapsulate his story/meaning.

With the understanding that you connect with him in an emotional way, we try and do our best to tell stories in ways that generate the same emotion that we felt, as emotion is the closest you can get to actually experiencing Rowdy.

Confidence and comfort.

This expression is genuine, and it stems from a couple of real stories.

First being his development of vitiligo.

His opportunity to share his appearance with the world and simultaneously teach other kids with vitiligo how special it is to be unique.

He believed that everybody has the right to feel confident and comfortable in their own skin, and he represented this through spreading vitiligo awareness.

His belief system was authentic, real and genuine.

The second story that his principles come from is his personality.

Since he was a puppy, he really did represent confidence in his own eccentric way.

To represent his deranged confidence, I remember a specific log he would obsess over when we were camping.

Every year we would drive up into the Cascade Mountains and stay a week without service.

And of course we would bring our dog.

There was a hidden spot where we’d swim, and Rowdy was especially fond of it for his own special reasons.

Mostly because the log would extend through the water and stick perfectly into the air, begging any dog to swim out and sink their teeth into it.

The side of this swimming hole was constructed of a gigantic pile of rocks cascading down into the water.

Sitting underneath the golden log was a couple of these rocks that gave Rowdy perfect groundwork to start his mission with.

We’d usually stay for roughly two hours, and I promise Rowdy wouldn’t take a single break.

He spent one hundred and twenty minutes fixated on this log, digging his teeth into the bark, submerging his head into the water and shaking as if he was a wolf, tearing meat from his prey in an attempt to pull the log out of the earth.

The manic confidence would shine through his dripping blood, as not one instance of adversity would stop him.

Not us trying to pry him off.

Not his gums getting cut into shreds and blood dripping from his mouth.

Not even his paws turning raw from using the rocks beneath him as leverage.

The funniest part is, he would pick up right where he left off the next year but never even made a dent.

Yet he was enamored with that log because he was confident it would eventually let loose.

We’d bring him back to the camp site, a bloody mess, listen to him whine all night in pain, then bring him back the next day to watch him do it again.

We were forced to leave him back at the camp site since there was nothing we could do to stop him from charging himself at that log the second he smelt it.

The point of these stories is to show that Rowdy’s belief of confidence and comfort isn’t simply some marketing ploy to give “White Eyed Rowdy” a catchphrase.

It’s a belief system that originated from the actual personality of our dog Rowdy and fit so perfectly into everything he did for the world.

Rowdy’s audience consists of you guys who are real, passionate and emotionally connected fans.

Not everybody reads these blog posts, but those of you who do feel something when you see his face pop up on your screen.

He gives you a unique feeling that you don’t find everywhere on social media these days, as our capitalistic society values attention for money.

Rowdy values your attention to give you something real.

He’s had quite a few new followers in the time since he passed, so if you’re just learning about his story, thank you for listening to what he has to say.

For you fans that have been following for a while now, we’ve heard a lot of requests for stories about his near death experiences.

So whether you’re a new fan or an older fan, we want to share one of those stories with you, but only for those of you who have been following him through the blog.

So White Eyed Rowdy is deciding to start an occasional newsletter that will deliver special Rowdy goodies to those of you who sincerely connect with Rowdy.

We will be posting a blog post next Friday, but his first near death experience story will be sent only through this newsletter, for the specific reason that we only want this select community of Rowdy fans reading it.

It’s a pretty good story too ;-)

If this is something you’re interested in, you can sign up at the link below:

http://www.whiteeyedrowdy.com/newsletter

It’s extremely easy; you simply put your email address in and sign up.

Then on Friday, his near death experience will be sent directly to your chosen email.

Thanks again for reading this Friday!

- White Eyed Rowdy

http://www.whiteeyedrowdy.com/newsletter

 

 

Why Rowdy Is More Than Just My Dog

Why Rowdy Is More Than Just My Dog

I can’t deny that every kid who grows through life along the side of a pet will develop a special bond, but I believe my bond with Rowdy goes even deeper.

I could see more than eyes, pupils, and a brain in constant survival mode.

I believe that there’s more going on inside a dog that we have yet to prove.

I think they have the capacity for emotions like compassion, sadness, happiness and fear.

I think they’re loyal to us for reasons that go beyond their history of hunting in packs and following the alpha male.

I think dogs have evolved over time similar to humans, and since adopting them as our best friend, we’ve grown an unexplainable connection to them that delves deeper than evolution.

I was diagnosed with a unique form of OCD as a child, and I was taught how to introspect and shut off what my therapist called the “trickster.”

As I grew up I learned how to manage this OCD, but it still formed in different channels.

I developed an obsession for basketball and found a small group of friends whom I grew close to, but I still wasn’t able to share and connect deeply because I still felt out of place wherever I went.

I found myself full of anxiety, and although sports naturally placed me in the “popular crowd” I still went about my day with anxiety and doubt.

I’m sure that anxiety is a natural part of growing up, and maybe OCD didn’t have as big of an impact on my social life as I imagine…

… But regardless, I still felt different then everybody because I was always in my head analyzing.

However, no matter how difficult my day was, I always knew I could come home and find comfort, fulfillment and connection in my scruffy pal.

When he looked at me, I knew he understood me.

Dogs are amazing because they’re simple and full of joy.

You can go through your day dealing with your personal battles, but when you come home you know you have somebody who genuinely missed you and cares for you.

That’s how I felt every single day.

In my world of misunderstanding, Rowdy was always somebody who I knew I could understand and who could understand me.

He was my one constant that, along with basketball, gave me a feeling that I was okay in the universe and had meaning.

When he looked up at me with his happy face and tail wagging, I didn’t need to analyze because I could feel him.

I was a young boy and he was a puppy when we met, and we went through so many stages of life together, so our bond wasn’t just something you talk about.

It was real.

It was something I could genuinely feel.

I could confide in him in a way that didn’t need words.

He would sleep at the foot of my bed almost every night, and whenever I would stay up late into the night thinking, I knew I didn’t have to do it alone.

Don’t get me wrong, life with him wasn’t all roses and feelings of transcendent contentment.

He caused a lot fear with almost dying several times and getting in trouble with the law for tackling neighbors on a jog out of excitement.

But all that fear was well worth it because he gave me a peace of mind and deep connection to life that was hard for me to find.

When he died I couldn’t cry, and at the time I wasn’t sure why.

I sat there feeling kind of happy, as all the memories of us flew through my mind.

I thought about his crazy life packed full of laughter, tears, shouting, cursing, fear, love and endless emotions.

I saw his breathing fade, his gums turn white, and his eyes lose his curious boisterousness that continued to his last breath.

Yet I still felt happy.


I thought of how much of an impact he had on my life, but the crazy thing is, that wasn’t even his biggest accomplishment.

His rollercoaster life, along with everything he did for me growing up, was enough to be a book in itself.

Yet he still somehow managed to touch the hearts of hundreds of thousands of people…

Spark a movement for awareness of an overlooked and misunderstood condition…

Gain the attention of the media and grow a following of loving dedicated fans…

Raise money for a great cause…

Inspire everyone who hears his message to be confident and comfortable in their own skin…

Build real and genuine relationships with kids like Carter and Ava whose lives are changed…

And grow a legacy that will impact lives for years to come.

There’s a reason why his story has reached so many eyes and ears, and that’s because there actually was something different about him.

What that is, and how all this happened… I’m not really sure, and I don’t think I’ll ever find an answer.

All I can do is sit back and feel blessed to be a part of it with him.

I eventually did cry, but at the moment of death, I was blind sided with the realization of how unbelievable the last couple of years were.

I was finally hit with the “holy sh*t” all that really just happened, and I sat there holding his head in a daze of awe and ecstasy.

He gave me meaning, but that isn’t what’s important.

I want to thank you, Rowdy, for changing my life, but more importantly, thank you for changing the lives of a lot of other people that really needed you.

This is why Rowdy is more than just my dog.

He’s the dog of all of you guys who were touched by him and his magical powers.

Now you understand how he really does have the ability to shove a fist full of emotion up your stomach, and he’s had this otherworldly power since he was a little puppy.

Rowdy gave me confidence in life and helped me feel comfortable in my own crazy head.

And he’s helped others feel confident and comfortable in their own skin.

He’s more than just my dog.

- White Eyed Rowdy

 

 

 

 

 

           

           

 

 

First Memories of Rowdy

First memories of Rowdy

Even before Rowdy was in the spotlight, he’s held a unique place in the memories of friends and family.

When reflecting back to the day Rowdy was brought into our life, it’s hard to remember exact memories unless recaptured through video.

However, the emotion has stuck with me to this day.

I believe that emotion is the one thing that will always stick and is unhindered by time.

And let me tell you, Rowdy has been the catalyst of a rollercoaster of emotions, even before his come to fame.

The emotions that still endure are probably similar to any other young child that received a new best friend in dog form in the early stages of life.

Pure excitement and joy.

Ever since my first encounter with Rowdy he’s been a ball of pent up anxiety and energy.

He stepped onto the back yard of our old house on Umbenhower lane and immediately darted in every direction, eluding the outstretched hands of three eager children desperate to pet his fluffy puppy fur.

I remember after four minutes of meandering around the yard chasing what seemed like a wild pig, Rowdy stopped and let my mom pet him for a brief second.

What seemed a friendly gesture turned out the complete opposite.

My six year old self was standing five yards away, curiously and innocently watching the next events play out.

I’m fairly certain I remember Rowdy slowly turn his head and lock his eyes with mine.

He had a fierce, dominant look in his eye that my sister and I would soon become very familiar with.

Rowdy then turned his attention back to his target, arched his back, took two steps onto the arm of my mom and started, for lack of a better word, humping her.

Tongue out and everything.

After watching video footage, I learned that those five minutes of organized chaos were the very first five minutes of my life with White Eyed Rowdy.

I believe that sums up how the rest of the fourteen years played out.

It was a crazy fourteen years, but throughout all of Rowdy’s near death experiences, altercations with the law, and getting a little too comfortable with legs, I believe that it was all for a reason.

There’s no way that it was all a coincidence.

After surviving poison, being shot by a cop, an infection caused by a thorn, losing limbs, almost drowning, almost falling off cliffs hiking, and more…

…He still, somehow, came out the other side and sparked a movement that touched the hearts of hundreds of thousands of people.

I think that’s proof enough that something else was at play his whole life and it was no fluke. 

His message’s foundation is built on being comfortable and confident in your own skin, and it was originally created to boost the confidence of kids with vitiligo (the same “disease” as Rowdy).

And it’s had a major impact on many adults and children with the condition.

However, we think Rowdy’s story and message has the potential to scale even further.

Being confident and comfortable in your own skin is a value that should hold more weight in the society we are moving towards.

According to Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), 27.6% of American citizens were obese in 2013. The organization estimates that 3/4 of the American population will likely be overweight or obese by 2020.

Yes, efforts should be made to try and cut that percentage down, but we think that it’s also extremely important to change how we perceive each other.

Change starts in ourselves and how we think.

We can’t ignore that the number is growing, so we should strive to give everybody confidence and comfort in their own skin regardless.

We can’t ignore the tension created after the presidential election. It can be difficult at times to place yourselves in the shoes of others, but we all come from different cultures, opinions and worldviews.

The mixing pot of principles that is America is what makes it a pretty cool place to be.

Instead of focusing on our differences and letting them get between us, we should accept differences, allow everybody to feel confident and comfortable in their own skin and try, and work together in search for understanding.

This same point goes back to the last post about vitiligo: instead of focusing on the cure, think about how to see it as a unique blessing.

Rowdy’s message has the ability to reach you through many different angles.

It started with vitiligo, but we all find insecurities for our own reasons, and the more we find confidence in ourselves, the more we can share it with others.

We get caught in negative feedback loops, and our mind makes up fake stories about why we aren’t good enough; why we don’t look good enough; why he or she doesn’t like you; why we don’t have everything we want.

It’s hard to be confident with those thoughts, and the way to reverse them is to live in the present moment, understand that we are who we are, and we all offer the world something great.

Hopefully Rowdy’s lasting legacy has the ability to break some of these feedback loops and reach people in a personal way, giving as many people as possible confidence and comfort.

If you’re reading this, then that means your one of Rowdy’s more serious followers.

So we wanted to thank you for being so passionate about him, but we also want to ask a favor from you.

We want to get to know you a little better, so on Rowdy’s last Instagram post (about this blog post) write a question you have for Rowdy or us—his family.

It could be anything, just share something you’re curious about, and we will try and answer all those questions for you.

Stay tuned, Rowdy has new stories coming here every Friday.

Let us know what you want to hear.

- White Eyed Rowdy

White Eyed Rowdy's Stance on Vitiligo

White Eyed Rowdy’s Stance on Vitiligo

P.C. Mary Alice Photography

 In the vitiligo community we see a lot of different advocates for forward progress.

However, we think it’s important to understand what forward progress means, especially when it comes to vitiligo.

When we go through social media, we see different companies and organizations that represent vilitigo, but they either sell products that claim to “cure” vitiligo, or support the same thinking.

We believe that it shouldn’t be a primary focus to “cure” the skin pigmentation, but we should focus on changing the thinking on the skin pigmentation.

Why invest time and money to change what’s already beautiful about somebody?

That time and money could be used to help people understand that everybody is beautiful in their own skin.

There’s money being put to finding a “cure,” but what are you really curing?

Vitiligo is labeled as a “disease” and maybe it technically is, but if the only symptom is the loss of skin color, then why strive to change something that makes that person extremely unique?

If more people adopted the thinking that the end goal isn’t to cure the pigmentation, but to be proud of it, then we believe that we will solve the issues that come with vitiligo quicker.

Bullying is a major issue for kids with vitiligo but a lot of it comes from ignorance.

A simple question of “why is your skin like that?” happens on a daily basis.

These kinds of questions usually create long lasting self esteem issues, as the child feels out of place and insecure of their skin.

But that doesn’t have to be the case.

If the child with vitiligo, who’s proud of his/her unique blessing, responded with pride then that changes the thinking one conversation at a time.

It starts with how we perceive the “disease.”

If the family and the child perceive the skin as cool and unique, then they walk through the halls of school with their chest high.

They respond to questions about their skin quick, easy and assertively with no self-doubt.

They feel confident and comfortable in their own skin.

Other children may even envy the confidence.

It’s amazing how powerful the effects of thinking about a problem are.

That’s why White Eyed Rowdy’s stance on vitiligo is that effort shouldn’t be put into finding a cure…

…It should be put into changing the thinking and perception of vitiligo one conversation at a time.

Remember to feel confident and comfortable in your own skin ;-)

- White Eyed Rowdy

P.S. Rowdy is helping raise funds to self publish a book that he's starring in called "Spotted In Portland" by Lindsay Hile Baca of Sit! Stay! Photography. 

We made him some pretty cool socks, so if you're interested in checking those out here's the link for you:

https://bakdrop.com/collections/whiteeyedrowdy

Thank you ;-)