Something Special Pets – My Name is Lentil
Lentil the French Bulldog was born with a cleft palate. Unable to eat or drink normally, he would have died. Thankfully, at just two days old, he was rescued by French Bulldog Rescue Network. Lindsay Condefer of Street Tails Animal Rescue agreed to foster. Sadly Lentil’s sister, born with the same issue did not survive. Lentil, however, has not only survived, he has thrived to become an inspirational ambassadog for kids dealing with similar issues.
Condefer previously worked as a vet tech in ICU at the University of Pennsylvannia, so the schedule of tube-feeding puppy Lentil every two hours around the clock didn’t phase her. “I’d weigh him at 8 am and calculate his feed for the next 24 hours,” she explained. Surprisingly, he did not object. “He’d never had water or anything in his mouth so it was normal for him. When he saw the red tube he’d drool and get wiggly. But if he saw a steak – nothing!”
For the next four months, Condefer (with the help of her trusty chihuahua, Tabitha,) focused on raising Lentil. Short on time, she started a Facebook page to update the people who wanted to know about his progress. Soon everyone wanted to know! One day it was 3000. The next day it was 10,000. “It just went viral. I don’t know how it did or why. Kids who were afraid to leave the house before reached out. It’s bigger than anyone could have planned. We’re going with it. I’m just Lentil’s assistant!”
Today, this quirky little French Bulldog has over 130,000 Team Lentil fans on Facebook. When he underwent corrective surgery at 4 months-old, people from all over the world posted their support. Now Lentil gets to give back by spreading smiles and kindness. Alongside kids with craniofacial differences, he often visits schools to teach about acceptance.
He even surprised one of his fans with a visit to The Doctors:
If you’ve ever wondered just how much an effect one person – or dog – can have on the world, the answer is… a lot! “Watching kids learn to accept whoever and see that they’re people too puts everything into perspective. They’re not the unknown anymore so there’s nothing to be afraid or awkward about. And once kids are past that, they just want to know legit things like, ‘Do you play video games?!’”
To join Team Lentil, become a fan of his Facebook page.
For cool Lentil products, including a fab Team Lentil dog collar, go to MyNameisLentil.bigcartel.com.
You’ll find more stories of special needs pets from TPM on our Something Special Pets page.
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