Cleft palate pup helps kids

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POSTED: Tuesday, July 2, 2013 - 12:36pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, July 10, 2013 - 9:53am

A little dog with cleft palate is helping kids with their self-esteem.

He's five months old and weighs around 10 pounds. His name is Lentil, a French Bull dog puppy, who has made quite a name for himself by encouraging kids to be comfortable in their own skin.

Lentil's story began in February when he was born with a cleft palate and lip.

He couldn't eat on his own and was fed through a tube.

His adopted owner, was constantly on edge.

"Because there's always that chance that anything that he's taking through his mouth can to into his lungs."

Lentil was treated at the university of pennsylvania's veterinary school.

Working with craniofacial experts at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, the doctors came up with a plan.

Because Lentil's lip was only a cosmetic problem, they decided to fix his palate, so he could eat.

"The cleft lip itself is more of a cosmetic surgery, not really a necessity for patients that are not fully aware of what they look like."

They asked Lentil's 'mom' if he could become part of a program where kids with certain conditions, meet animals who have the same challenges.

Lentil was the perfect "ambassadog" for kids with craniofacial issues.

Lentil is so popular that patient families, like the Pfeiffers, have bonded with him.

They say he helped their son Danny deal with the many complications that come with facial surgery.

"He's here for a reason and he's made it for a reason."

Lentil, a little pup, that's already made a big difference.

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