A Newman Lake woman named Sue Blankenship in Spokane, Washington, heard through a neighbor about a dog named Bruno. Bruno, a yellow lab, suffered from a heart problem and needed surgery. What made it so special to Sue was the fact that she, herself, was born with the same heart condition.
Sixty years ago, Sue underwent surgery to correct Patent Ductus Arteriosis which causes abnormal blood flow between major arteries connected to the heart. Now the dog needed the same intervention. Sue had a crazy notion that she and the dog needed each other and were meant to be together.
Bruno's story began in San Antonio, Texas, where he was staying at a sister shelter to the Spokane Humane Society. After a long trip to Washington, the veterinarian in Spokane discovered the problem. But surgery is expensive, so the shelter would have to raise money.
Sue jumped at the chance to help Bruno, soliciting donations from friends and family. Eventually, with the help of the community, enough was raised to go ahead with Bruno's operation.
Sue checked the shelter's website every day, watching for news of Bruno and waiting for the day he would be up for adoption. “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.”
Finally the day arrived when he was ready for a new forever home, and Sue was right there to give it to him. But first, she gave him a new name. From then on, he would be known as Mars. “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.’” So take him she did!
Thanks to the Spokane Humane Society and a caring community, Mars had a new heart and a new home. He and Sue look forward to many years ahead together, happy and healthy in a way only they can fully understand.
Share Sue and Mars' story with your friends on Facebook, and if you are so moved, contact your local Humane Society to see if there are dogs in your area who need a special leg up. Will you be the one to make the difference? Let us know in the comments!