When Brandon Boyers visited the Jackson County Animal Shelter, he was looking to buy chickens but he ended up buying a dog. After he saw a 2-month-old Labrador-Retriever mix at the animal shelter, he changed his mind and came home with a little puppy. The reason? The puppy has cleft lip, just like his son, and felt the puppy would make a great companion for his two-year-old son, Little Bentley. Ashley Boyers, recalls the time her husband called her from the animal shelter. “He called me and said, ‘They don’t have the chickens, but they have a puppy,'” said Ashley, reports Fox News.
Boyers FaceTime-d her and showed the puppy and she was really excited, “We need her!” she exclaimed. He wasted no time. He filled out the paperwork brought the puppy home. The couple said their 2-year-old boy has taken to puppy and are really close. “They eat together, they do everything together,” said Ashley. The puppy is named Lacey. Little Bentley has already undergone two surgeries for his cleft lip and the family is hoping the puppy will help the boy become more confident and look at himself as different. “I think it will have a lot more meaning to him to have a puppy with the same birth defect he had because it shows that neither of them is any different than any other kid or puppy that are their age, they both are equal to all each other,” she said.
The Jackson County Animal Shelter shared adorable pictures of the dog with the boy and wrote, “It’s very difficult to put into words how meaningful this adoption is to all of us.” At the age of 2, having undergone cleft lip surgery, Bentley found himself a mate today in this little puppy who also has a cleft lip. They fell in love with each other instantly.
The Facebook post went viral in no time and garnered more than 34,000 interactions and 41,000 shares. Animal Services Director Lydia Sattler said Lacey is unlikely to have any health issues in the future because of her cleft palate. “Her disability is really not holding her back, and as she grows, they’ll be able to see more if there’s any change that has to do with that. But she’s really doing well,” said Sattler. It does seem like Little Bentley and Lacey were destined to find each other. Lacey was born in Mississippi but ended up in Michigan only because the shelters there were full.
The Facebook post was flooded with happy comments. Rachel Goode wrote: As a person who has a cleft lip and palate, this warms my heart dearly. What a beautiful, cherished friendship these two will have! So glad Bentley will have a friend who “knows” and will love well. Barbara Greene added, Sweet story, adorable fella, adorable pup. And from a surgical standpoint, whoever did Bentley’s cleft repair, did a beautiful job!
It’s important for kids to not feel left out and feel accepted. For the same reason, earlier this year, the makers of Barbie, Mattel, announced that they were introducing a diverse range of dolls including one with vitiligo and another with no hair. Vitiligo causes the loss of skin color in blotches. “We’ve been committed to increasing diversity in our line and showcasing all the different types of beauty that exist … making the line more accessible,” said Lisa McKnight, senior vice president, according to USA Today. Mattel also stated that the image of the vitiligo toy was posted to its Instagram page and became the most liked post ever. The company said that it wanted to make the toys more relatable. “If a girl is experiencing hair loss for any reason, she can see herself reflected in the line,” said the company in a statement.