Ken Pope

A little white dog, with a cotton pad covering his surgical staples, stands smiling at the camera.

Milagro brought that smile you see in these photos into our home during the summer of 2003 along with countless miracles. When we adopted him he was in congestive heart failure and it was a miracle he was still alive. Born with a hole in his heart (PDA), he'd somehow survived without any vet care to be 3 or 4 years old. No one knew of a dog with a PDA of his severity living into adulthood without having it repaired.

After his heart surgery at out local clinic, we took him to a cardiac specialist at Tufts School of Veterinary Medicine for one last attempt to try to save Milagro's life. His murmur was so extreme you could hear it without a stethoscope.

The only hope for blocking the large hole was to insert a catheter into his hind leg, and try to work a coil up through the femoral artery and place it in the hole. Unfortunately, the coil needed to fill the hole was much too large to fit through Milagro's tiny blood vessels.

With no other options for saving his life, the cardiologist decided to try to lodge a series of smaller coils in the hole. One dislodged and floated into the pulmonary artery, but the others stayed in place. A die test shortly after the procedure showed that the hole was now 95% blocked.

Here are some of Milagro's closest friends among the family of special needs cats and dogs who live in our home.

Milagro share time on the couch with Annie, an elderly blind diabetic dog:

2 white dogs are happily sitting on a couch

Milagro spends time with Ariel, a neurologically impaired, hand-fed cat (one of the cats preferring to nap while cuddled up with Milagro):

A little cat and dog are looking toward the same spot on a bedA little brown and white cat is leaning up a little white dog who is napping

Persephone, a neurologically-impaired cat (whom a vet school had asked us to adopt -- she'd been brought to the school in a coma)--enjoys a nap on her pal, Milagro:

A borwn and black cat naps while draped over a little white dog

Milagro cuddled on the couch with Sirius, a dog with a non-infectious immune-mediated brain inflammation syndrome (granulomatous meningoencephalitis), a progressive fatal disease:

2 little white dogs are sitting on the couch

Milagro shares a nap with Ursa, a blind and deaf elderly lab:

A large bwon lab sleeps next to a small white dog, also asleep

Milagro hanging out with his best friend, Dharma, a dog with an atypical seizure disorder:

2 little dogs stand together facing the camera2 little white dogs enjoy the sun

Milagro at one end of his emotional continuum (i.e., happy):

A little 4 pound white dog is smiling at you

Milagro at the other end of his emotional continuum (i.e., very happy):

a little 4 pound white dog has his front legs up on the couch and is smiling at you

Milagro resting in the lap of his toy lion:

a tiny white dog is resting on a stuffed toy lion

Please follow this link to the family of special needs dogs and cats who live in our home.


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