When Brandon and Ashley Boyers discovered Lacey, a black and white puppy with a congenital birth defect, at the Jackson County Animal Shelter in Jackson, MI, they knew she would be the perfect companion for their two-year-old son, Bentley. Like their toddler, the puppy had been born with a cleft lip.

Brandon was visiting the shelter when he realized one of the puppies had something in common with his son.

“He Facetimed me. He goes, ‘I think this one has a cleft lip’ and I said, ‘get her! We need her,’” Ashley told local news station WILX.

When the overjoyed toddler visited the shelter to meet Lacey for the first time, the team was able to capture an adorable series of photos highlighting the instant bond shared between the boy and his new puppy.

“It’s so hard to put into words how meaningful this adoption is to all of us so we are going to let the pictures speak for themselves,” the shelter said in a Facebook post. “…They instantly loved each other.”

Being able to see yourself reflected in the world around you is so important. “To see him have something in common with a puppy means a lot ’cause he can grow up and understand that he and his puppy both have something that they can share,” Ashley said.

Lydia Sattler, the Jackson County Animal Services Director, noted that Lacey should not have any additional health issues.

“Her disability is really not holding her back, and as she grows, they’ll be able to see more if there’s any change that has to do with that. But she’s really doing well,” Lydia told WILX. “She might look a little different than a normal dog would, but it’s not slowing her down at all.”