In March of 2015 Daniella, a Labrador puppy, came to Capital Area Humane Society in Michigan from a shelter in Mississippi. The on-site veterinarians noticed an echo-like sound in Daniella’s chest during her initial clinical exam.  The puppy was sent offsite to Michigan State University Veterinary Medical Clinic where they found a high grade heart murmur which could be felt on her left chest wall. Daniella was diagnosed with a small patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), a congenital heart condition when a normal fetal structure does not close properly after birth. Normally, due to pressure changes within the heart, this vessel closes. Unfortunately in Daniella’s case, the vessel did not close and resulted in some of the blood bypassing her lungs. The veterinarians recommended surgery to close the PDA by opening the chest and suturing the vessel.  The shelter staff stated, “Daniella is one of the sweetest puppies and we wanted her to have this heart surgery to be able to live a happy life and one day find a forever home”.

Thanks in part to an ISF grant, Daniella had her life saving heart surgery. The day after her surgery she was back to her normal puppy self.  She was placed in a foster home where she could recover and hopefully be adopted soon. Daniella recovered quickly from her surgery and the veterinarians’ only challenge was keeping her calm as she was very active; wanting to run around everywhere and play with everything.

In April 2015, Daniella finally found a forever home. Cyndie, a woman who had been following Daniella’s story on the shelter facebook page, couldn’t wait to meet her. Cyndie made a visit to the shelter and when she met Daniella, it was love at first sight.  There were over 15 approved adoption profiles for Daniella and Cyndie was the lucky one to be first in line. She renamed Daniella Ethel to coincide with her Chocolate Labrador Lucille (after Lucy & Ethel from "I love Lucy") at home.  The two dogs became great friends and both love playing with Cyndie’s young granddaughter.  Cyndie reports Ethel (Daniella) has the energy of a “four-legged two year old child” and will have a life full of fun and happiness.



Written by Stefanie Schmidt

Edited by Bob Stone