A cleft lip and palate boy adopts a cleft lip and palate rescue puppy

Nothing compares to the bond between a boy and his first pet dog. But one new friend has something extra special in common, and they miraculously found each other when they needed it the most.

Bentley Boyers, a 2-year-old from Jackson, Michigan, was born with a cleft lip, which is a birth defect characterized by a split opening in the top lip. His parents say it hasn’t been easy for him to have surgeries to repair his lip.

“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,” his mother Ashley told WILX.

But then something amazing happened last week: Bentley’s father Brandon went to a shelter expecting to adopt chickens, but instead found a two-month-old rescue dog with a cleft palate.

Stunned, he called his wife, and they both agreed that Bentley needed the dog.

Bentley is clearly overjoyed with his new puppy. After meeting her for the first time, photos show him happily petting and kissing the dog.

It’s an unlikely miracle: the shelter says they don’t see many dogs with cleft lips, so they were just lucky to be there at the right time.

They understand that Bentley will benefit greatly from having a dog with a matching birth defect. He still needs bone grafting surgery to repair his lip, but he’ll have a dog who understands what he’s going through.

“To see him have something in common with a puppy means a lot because he can grow up and understand that he and his puppy both have something in common,” Ashley explained.

Similarly, the puppy will have a loving owner who will love her regardless of her appearance.

“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,” Animal Services Director Lydia Sattler told WILX.

“She might look a little different than a normal dog would, but it’s not slowing her down at all.”

“They instantly loved each other,” the shelter wrote on Facebook. “We wish many years of joy as this special pair grow up together!”