He was five months old, weighed 10 pounds, and had more than 90,000 friends on Facebook. Lentil, the French Bulldog pup, was adorable despite the craniofacial abnormalities affecting his head and face — just like one third of the population’s kids.
The pup with the cleft lip and palate served as an “ambassadog” who raised awareness for children with craniofacial abnormalities.
Craniofacial abnormalities in children deserve awareness to inform others on how to socially respond to such cases. The experts at Craniofacialmd.com believe patients need encouragement, since not everyone understands their condition. Lentil the French bulldog is a perfect example.
Lentil began his journey on February 2013 with four other puppies. All of them had facial defects but only Lentil survived with a cleft palate and chin. Because of his facial problems, he couldn’t drink or eat on his own. His palate was too deformed that food and liquid could go through his nose and cause him to suffocate.
The pup needed surgery, so his owner, Lindsay Condefer, consulted the doctors from the University of Pennsylvania’s veterinary school. While waiting for the surgery, she started a blog about Lentil to raise awareness about the problem. She never thought Lentil would become popular.
The Ambassadog to the Rescue
Since Lentil’s lip was only a cosmetic problem, surgeons agreed to fix just his palate. Despite the remedy, the pup still had a cleft lip. His appearance convinced the vet school that the pup can take part in a program where kids met animals with the same condition.
Kids suffering from craniofacial abnormalities need to feel that there’s nothing different with them. By relating with others, they see that they’re not alone. The school shares the same sentiments as they encourage Lentil to visit hundreds of patients at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
By encouraging kids to interact with Lentil, they see him as a special dog, which makes them feel the same. The pup served as an encouragement and the type of fun they needed.
Lentil, despite his abnormalities, was special in his own way. Kids with the same condition have every right to know that. Fortunately, the adorable French bulldog managed to get the message across to the thousands of kids he reached.