Woman Finds Kindred Spirit In Shelter Dog Who Shared Her Heart Condition

Sue Blankenship was born with Patent Ductus Arteriosis (PDA), a condition that causes abnormal blood flow in the arteries connected to the heart, which can cause congestive heart failure if left untreated. Luckily, Sue’s condition was treated years ago, and she recently found a kindred spirit in Mars.
Mars (formerly Bruno) found his way to the Spokane Humane Society in Washington after a long trip from a sister shelter in San Antonio, Texas. Upon his arrival, their vet discovered that he had a heart murmur, and determined that he was born with PDA – the same condition Sue had. The condition could be treated with surgery, but the shelter would need to ask for contributions to afford it.


News of Mars and his condition reached Sue Blankenship via a neighbor, who told her that the pup needed donations for surgery. Right away, Sue knew she had found a kindred spirit in this shelter dog. Sue told KREM,

“In that moment, as crazy as it sounds, I just had this feeling that we were meant to be because I had had that same surgery like 60 years ago… I emailed my neighbors, I emailed my mom, my brother, sister and asked them all to donate.”

The campaign for Bruno was successful. He went into surgery for his heart condition, and got through it without a hitch. Sue waited eagerly to hear that he had recovered. Although she had only seen pictures online, she felt a special connection with Mars, and checked the shelter’s website daily to see if he was available to adopt.

“I just felt like I had a connection with him. I couldn’t forget him, you know what I mean? I kept checking the website every day, seeing if he was on there yet because I was not sure how he came out of the surgery.”

Once Sue saw that Mars was ready for a forever home, she went straight to the shelter to meet him. The moment she saw him at the fence, the feeling she’d had all along that they were meant to be was confirmed.

“He jumped up on the fencing and just made incredible eye contact with me, I mean just like boring into me, and I just felt like he was saying ‘take me.’”

Just before the new year, Sue took Mars home.


Thanks to the Spokane Humane Society, Sue Blankenship and the other donors, Mars has a long, happy life ahead of him in his new, loving home!

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