Puppy With Cleft Palate Teaches Kids Tolerance (Slideshow)

Lentil, the ‘Super Bean,’ has severe cleft palate

Lentil puppy with cleft palette

Lentil, a little French bulldog puppy with a malformed mouth and lips, has lessons to teach your kids. This puppy’s resilience and appeal, despite challenges, shows how everyone deserves kindness and respect, even if they are different from us.

If your child has special needs or feels different, talking about Lentil can help your child embrace differences — encouraging self-confidence and independence that lead to better emotional and physical health.

So mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles and grandparents, I encourage you start a dialog with your children today about Lentil, the “Super Bean.” Kids can learn a lot from this strong little pup and may even see that different is not just OK but can actually be quite adorable.

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Puppy With Cleft Palate Teaches Kids to Be Nice
  • Meet Lentil

    This is Lentil. He is a French bulldog puppy given over to rescue by his breeder because of severe cleft palate, a malformation of the roof of the mouth and lips that keeps him from being able to eat normally and makes him susceptible to complications.
  • ‘Super Bean’ overcomes!

    Lentil the “Super Bean” is a feisty little pup. Lentil was lucky enough to find a dedicated and caring foster mother who tube feeds him every three hours and lets him run around and play like any other pup. He romps around and has a good old time.
  • One of the gang

    Lentil doesn’t know that he is different from any other pup. He just knows that he is loved by his foster mother and accepted by his foster dog-siblings who play with him and treat him no differently than any other pup in their home. People love watching all the fun.
  • Lentil teaches kids

    Talk to your children about Lentil to teach them that everyone deserves kindness and respect, even if they are different from us. If your child has special needs or feels different, the story of Lentil is a wonderful way to point out their positive qualities.
  • Lentil teaches us all

    Lentil teaches adults too. He represents strength and resilience despite difficulty. Rather than treating children who may have unique challenges differently from other kids, we can embrace their differences and encourage their self-confidence and independence.


See more adorable photos of Lentil’s growth and progress via blog and on Facebook.

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Emma Raizman, MD

Emma Raizman, MD, is a pediatrician at Cleveland Clinic Children's who enjoys working with families and children, from newborns to adolescents.
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