When 2-year-old Bentley Boyers’s father, Brandon, visited the Jackson County Animal Shelter to adopt two chickens for his farm in early September, he was drawn to a cute black-and-white puppy with a cleft lip, as it reminded him of his son.
The excited father immediately contacted his wife, Ashley, 23, to show her the puppy.
“He Facetimed me. He goes, ‘I think this one has a cleft lip’ and I said ‘get her’! We need her!” Ashley told WILX.
Brandon, 27, who had never come across a puppy with such a condition before, immediately went to Animal Services Director Lydia Sattler to inquire about the adoption process.
“I explained that they could take the puppy home two days later, after she had her final vet appointment,” Sattler told the Washington Post.
Sattler was glad to know that the Boyers family was interested in adopting this puppy, which had been transported from an area in Mississippi with an excess of animals alongside 24 other rescued dogs and was one of the last to be adopted.
The shelter, which provides love and care to stray, abandoned, and owner-surrendered animals and then finally helps them find their forever homes and normally doesn’t come across puppies with a cleft lip, believes that the puppy will not have any problems in the future.
“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,” Sattler told WLIX.
Having found the perfect match for Bentley, his excited parents couldn’t wait to introduce him to his new puppy and thus visited the shelter with him the following day.
Unsurprisingly, Bentley and the puppy had an instant connection. “They were head over heels for each other right away,” Ashley said.
As Bentley took his new puppy in his arms and cradled her, everyone witnessing the heartwarming moment was left in tears.
“The puppy immediately started soaking up all his love,” Sattler said. “It was genuine joy.”
Bentley, who named the puppy Lacey, took her home on Sept. 4. The shelter then took to Facebook to share the story along with pictures of the adorable duo, writing: “It’s so hard to put into words how meaningful this adoption is to all of us so we are going to let the pictures speak for themselves.”
“They instantly loved each other. We wish many years of joy as this special pair grow up together,” they further added.
Bentley’s life hasn’t always been smooth. According to Ashley, her strong little son was diagnosed with a cleft lip during a gender ultrasound. At just 5 months old, Bentley underwent surgery and has since undergone one more in his short course of life.
Additionally, when he began eating, Ashley told WLIX: “We had to sit him up and feed him and hold his lip together in order for him to eat—so it was a process.”
However, his parents think that after welcoming Lacey to their family, Bentley won’t feel like he is alone. “To see him have something in common with a puppy means a lot ’cause he can grow up and understand that he and his puppy both have something that they can share in common,” Ashley said.
Luckily for Bentley, who still has to undergo some more medical procedures such as bone grafting as he grows older, he will not be alone now.
Needless to say, Bentley has been really excited to have Lacey by his side, and the two have already struck a great bond.
“Bentley spends all day playing with her,” Ashley told the Washington Post. “They play outside with balls and find sticks and rocks. …”
However, the parents know that beyond all the joy and fun, Bentley has found a true companion.
“He won’t feel like he’s alone on this journey,” Brandon said.
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