Cleft palate puppy finds his way into the arms of young girl battling cancer

Published: Nov. 11, 2020 at 12:16 AM CST
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DURANT, Oklahoma (KXII) - A Bryan County puppy made his way across the country to meet his new best friend, a 9-year-old girl with cancer.

He couldn’t do it alone. A network of friends, who were classmates at Durant High School, helped make this all happen.

Joker the Olde English Bulldog has experienced a lot in his 4 months of life.

Mountains, rivers and roads, to seeing snow for the first time -But his journey didn’t start out perfect.

Joker, the runt of his litter, was also born with a cleft lip.

“(I was) Laying in bed one night and I thought, what am I gonna do? I had been watching Paisley’s story for a while, and I guess it was just laid on my heart” said Lewis.

Amery Lewis' mind immediately went to her husband Bobby’s old Durant High School friend, Corey, whose daughter Paisley is fighting leukemia.

The two decided that Joker and Paisley would make a great pair.

“Paisley was in the hospital, so we just kept him until she was ready for him, and I guess it just worked out that it fell around her birthday!” Lewis said.

One problem, they needed help getting Joker to Seattle, where Paisley lives.

That’s when a third Durant High School buddy, Trever Ward stepped in.

“That was all I was thinking about, getting this dog to Paisley" Ward said. "I know sometimes all we need is hope and help and happiness, and that’s all I wanted to do.”

Paisley Choate turned nine Tuesday, but instead of celebrating like most 9-year-olds, Paisley has been undergoing treatment for her leukemia.

“I know how it is to need some happiness in times like that. I lost my wife in February to cancer,” Ward said.

Ward’s wife of 20 years, died last year.

He says the road trip he took with Joker has helped in more ways then he imagined.

“It felt like something I needed to do. It’s part of my healing process as well. You know? Pay it forward. Spread some happiness” Ward said.

Paisley told News 12 she was too tired to speak with us, because she had been given more treatment.

She told News 12 that she did enjoy her birthday Tuesday, with cake, spending time with family and of course, her new best friend Joker.

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