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‘Love at first sight’ says dad of girl, pet duck’s special bond

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FREEPORT, Maine -- A Maine girl was recognized for being a responsible pet owner.

Her pet, though, is not the usual cat or dog -- it's a duck.

Snowflake the duck follows Kylie Brown, 5, everywhere. Snowflake imprinted on Brown when her parents brought him home in the summer of 2015. He was only a duckling then.

Girl with duck

Since the summer, the two shared a special bond.  She feeds him, they take naps together, and they play together.

"It was love at first sight for both of them," Mike Brown, Kylie's dad, said. "We never expected it would be like it is right now."

Girl with duck reading

Their friendship was documented in a story online that received 10 million views across the country.

Among those who saw it: the Pet Education Project in Louisiana. The group decided to come to Brown's school to surprise her with an award for being a responsible pet owner.

"Somebody at our school has been recognized for exactly that, taking care of animals," the principal said, before a video announced Kylie Brown as the winner.

"Me?" Brown said, incredulous, before the crowd gave her a round of applause.

Kylie Brown with award

Kylie's dad could not be prouder.

"It just goes to show it doesn't matter what kind of pet you have, when you have a kid, they need to know how to take care of them," he said.

Now, Kylie -- and Snowflake -- will help teach other students how to take care of their animals.