Local sweetheart Kennedy Allen, now two years old, was born with a cleft lip and palate.
“We knew there was a small percentage that our child could have a cleft palate and/or lip as I was also born with a cleft lip and palate,” said her mom Denim Allen.
Once the doctors in Paris confirmed that their baby did, in fact, have both, Steve and Denim immediately reached out to a specialist in Dallas.
“After meeting with him we had a plan for her arrival and we made weekly visits to ensure she was staying healthy,” explained Denim. “When delivery day came which was scheduled at 38 weeks, we welcomed the most beautiful little girl with a cleft lip and palate.”
However, the new parents never imagined that this physical trait would eventually lead their baby to meet and bond with a lifelong friend in that of an equally sweet American Bully puppy by the name of Clip (now known as Mia) that has much more in common with Kennedy than your average pup.
American Bully breeders Bryan and Krista Whitaker were dealt the laborious challenge of caring for a pup in their litter born with a cleft lip; just like little Kennedy.
The Whitaker’s feared that the pup wouldn’t see the end of that week.
“Dogs born with cleft lips usually don’t make it,” said Krista. “The reason for this is because they usually just die as it takes a lot of effort to keep them hydrated and fed.”
However, together they nursed the sweet pup through bottle feeding every two hours and even resulted to giving subcutaneous IV fluids twice a day for that first week of Clip’s life.
Through their hard work and loving dedication to Clip, she pulled through.
During this trying time, unbeknownst to the Whitakers, The Allen’s were undergoing a similar trial.
“After Kennedy was born, she was quickly whisked away and immediately placed in the NICU due to an infection she had contracted from me,” said Denim. “She stayed 7 days in the NICU and although it has not been an easy journey, she has not allowed her small disadvantage to stop her.”
Kennedy underwent two corrective surgeries to repair her cleft lip and palate, but when her parents heard of Clip’s story, they knew that the two were meant to be.
“My sister saw Krista’s story about Clip and knew it was meant to be since they were both cleft babies.”
Kennedy and now Mia, upon their bringing together have since been inseparable.
‘We wanted to find someone that would love her for who she is and we knew the Allen’s would love and appreciate her as we do,” said Krista.
Now, being a year since their companionship started and both defying the odds through the dedication of those that love them, Kennedy and Mia are living a life full of love, joy, and acceptance.
“It’s amazing to see them together,” said Denim. “I never thought I’d have a cleft dog too and I guess I don’t really see either one of them with it until I think about it, especially since I had it too.”