A two-year-old boy with a cleft lip has become the proud owner of a puppy with the same birth defect.
Bentley Boyers’ father came across the dog, named Lacey, when he went to a shelter in search of chickens to add to the family’s small collection of farmyard animals.
Ashley Boyers, Bentley’s mother, told PA: “He looked at the puppies just because, and he called me on FaceTime and said ‘hey, I think this puppy has a cleft lip’ so I looked at her and I said ‘you need to get her, we need her’.
“So he ended up asking the ladies if she was up for adoption and said ‘my son has a cleft lip, I wanna adopt it for him’, and they said ‘well I guess it was meant to be’.”
The family, from Michigan in the United States, brought Lacey home from Jackson County Animal Shelter on Friday and Bentley quickly became smitten.
Mrs Boyers, 22, said: “He was head over heels, he absolutely loves this puppy.
“Lacey is his everything now.”
Bentley was born with a cleft lip and has so far had two surgeries to close the lip up, with another one due when he is older.
“As of right now he’s practically fine, he’s the happiest kid ever,” Mrs Bentley said. “He’s the most open, loving kid ever.”
And she believes the bond between the pair will become more important as Bentley grows older.
She said: “He pointed it out, he said ‘puppy’s got a booboo’ and I said ‘puppy has a booboo just like you used to’. He said ‘puppy has booboo like me?’ and I said ‘yes’.
“So I think he’s starting to understand that him and the puppy have something in common because when he sees pictures of himself with a cleft lip he says ‘that’s Bentley with booboo’.
“I think it’s going to mean a lot to him.”