Shelter Dog Meal Donation Count:

Learn More

Family Discovers Foster Dog Has Same Rare Heart Condition As Daughter

Written by: Molly Weinfurter
Molly Weinfurter is a writer for iHeartDogs, and she’s passionate about helping animals in need. She volunteers for Bailing Out Benji and a local dog rescue.Read more
| Published on May 11, 2021

When we choose a dog to adopt, it sometimes feels like fate. And the Mikolai family felt that more than anyone. Amid the pandemic, Nicki and her 15-year-old daughter Avery chose to start fostering dogs. But their first foster dog ended up having the same rare heart condition as Avery.

The family knew it had to be more than a coincidence. It was fate. Plus, the pup already shared an incredibly close bond with Avery. So, they eventually adopted the dog and gave her the best life possible.

Pit Bull Husky mix
Image: Screenshot, KARE 11 YouTube

What are the Odds?

Avery has pulmonary stenosis. It’s a rare condition where the narrow pulmonary artery restricts the body’s blood flow. Only hours after she was born, she had emergency heart surgery.

“One percent of kids will have congenital heart disease. Then, out of the congenital heart disease, anywhere between 8 and 12% will have pulmonary valve stenosis,” said Daniel Cortez, M.D, Ph.D.

Shelter dog needs love
Image: Screenshot, KARE 11 YouTube

Now, 15 years later, Avery’s family took in a foster dog named Annie. Annie is a Husky/Pit Bull mix that arrived at No Dogs Left Behind after being abandoned at a farm. The family knew she had a heart murmur. But when Annie had another vet checkup, the vet informed Nicki that there was another major health concern: pulmonary stenosis.

Nicki couldn’t believe her ears. What are the odds that both her daughter and her foster dog would have it? It clearly meant something.

Teenager meeting foster dog
Image: Screenshot, KARE 11 YouTube

Destined to be Best Friends

Annie needed the same surgery that Avery had as a baby. At that moment, the family knew it was meant to be. While Annie was at the vet, Nicki signed the adoption paperwork. They foster failed, and they couldn’t be happier about it!

Now, Annie and Avery are inseparable. Avery usually wears lightning bolt earrings to symbolize the pacemaker implanted in her heart. Now, Annie has a matching lightning bolt collar. They clearly share a bond on a deeper level than your average dog and human duo.

Teenager Training Foster Dog
Image: Screenshot, KARE 11 YouTube

“I think it’s really nice that she’s able to support the dog, and the dog clearly supports her as well,” Cortez said. “I think it’s very wonderful actually. Very sweet that they found each other.”

Sometimes, the perfect home for a dog is closer than they realize. But Avery isn’t concerned about how a coincidence like this occurred. Instead, she’s just happy that it happened. Annie was meant to be a part of their family, so Avery is overjoyed that they found each other. Now, Annie spends her nights in a comfortable bed with Avery. She’ll never have to feel abandoned ever again.

Pit Bull walking with forever family
Image: Screenshot, KARE 11 YouTube

Featured Image: Screenshots, KARE 11 YouTube

Recent Articles

Interested in learning even more about all things dogs? Get your paws on more great content from iHeartDogs!

Read the Blog