There is something special about the connection between a little boy and a dog. We may see it in our lives and we might even experience it, but when you see it in the life of 10-year-old Junior Nunez Vasquez, it is guaranteed to touch your heart.
A fire occurred at the young boy’s house in 2015. He and his younger sister were both burned and he had an older brother who died. He received a gift in the form of a new toy this past week, but an even bigger gift came his way from a family dog.
According to Junior’s aunt, Maria Isaura Vasquez, “We were both in awe to see their connection, he was all smiles.”
The 10-year-old boy was recorded on a cell phone when he met the standard poodle named Bentley. The video is absolutely touching. Junior can be seen reacting and he says, “I love Bently’s color of eyes.”
November 30, 2015, was the day that Junior’s 12-year-old brother, Nano Castro, died in a house fire in Mount Hope. Junior was burned over 95% of his body and his seven-year-old sister was also burned. So far, Junior has had to endure 11 different surgeries and more are expected. He is back at school full-time for the first time since the fire took place.
Lesia Cartelli, Angel Faces Founder and CEO, said, “I know there is a lot going behind those scars with him.”
Lesia was only nine years old when a natural gas explosion burned her severely. She started Angel Faces in 2002, a nonprofit that helps young girls who have severe burns.
The connection between Lesia and Junior was not planned. There were some leftover toys from Toys for Tots at her office and Junior went with his family to Encinatas to pick some. The Cartelli family dog, Bentley, formed an immediate bond with Junior.
“Kissing him everywhere, healing kisses is what we call them,” said Isaura Vasquez.
When Junior met Bentley, it was as if all of his barriers came down.
“Something in that little boy really needed Bentley that day,” said Cartelli, according to CBS8.
Esmeralda Nunez Vasquez, Junior’s seven-year-old sister, can be seen in another video absolutely ecstatic that her brother was happy.
CBS8 stated that according to Junior’s aunt, he smiled all that day.
“I took them to McDonald’s afterward and he kept saying how beautiful he was and kept smiling about him,” said Isaura Vasquez.
Junior didn’t have to worry about being different, surgeries, or being bullied when that moment occurred. He only had to think about what was happening between him and Bentley.
“Bentley gave him maybe something he has never felt, and that was unconditional love,” said Cartelli.
Angel Faces has connected Junior with a plastic surgeon that will work on his ears and nose. Since the surgery is considered to be cosmetic, his family says that Medi-Cal won’t pay for it. A GoFundMe page has been set up by Angel Faces to help with the costs.
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