Two Hearts

Adopting a dog with a heart defect gave this cardiac patient new purpose.

every gift saves lives

every gift saves lives

Eliza + Corazon

The feeling of hopelessness is all too familiar to me. As a child, I was plagued by a series of peculiar problems: the inability to run and play like the others, the occasional fainting spell, constant fatigue. It wasn’t until my first Transient Ischemic Attack (aka mini stroke) that I was referred to a cardiologist.

This was only the beginning of a myriad of office visits and multiple heart surgeries to soon follow. The feeling of desperation, hopelessness, and fear became stronger even as I strengthened both mentally and physically with each surgery.

"I knew from the moment I saw the hopeless look in her eyes that she needed someone who understood her special needs and that I could show her the path to healing. "

It was my old friends—fear, hopelessness, and desperation—that I saw once again in the eyes of a beautiful puppy that Gateway Pet Guardians rescued named Corazon (which is Spanish for heart). She was born with Severe Aortic Stenosis, a heart condition with very limited treatment options and an uncertain prognosis.

Abandoned on the streets at eight weeks old, Corazon fought to survive when humanity and her own genetics were against her. I knew from the moment I saw the hopeless look in her eyes that she needed someone who understood her special needs and that I could show her the path to healing.

After five heart surgeries, I finally found the cure for my congenital heart deformity when I adopted Cora on April 3, 2017. While her activity is very limited until her upcoming surgery in October, I take every second with her as a blessing.

I am so very blessed that the rescue that saved her life from the streets has volunteered once more to save her life by funding her very costly $6,000 heart surgery. She is my angel, and I am her guardian, and I would simply give the world for her cure.

Cora healed my heart with her broken one, and I am forever grateful for the mercy shown by Gateway Pet Guardians through their ongoing support.

In Memoriam: With grief stricken hearts, we are saddened to announce the passing of Cora on Oct 29, 2017. She suffered severe complications during heart surgery which claimed this beautiful soul too soon. We continue to keep Cora’s friends and family in our thoughts as they heal from this untimely passing.

Each year, the Petco Foundation invites adopters to share the story of how their adopted pet changed their lives during the annual Holiday Wishes campaign, giving the organization that they adopted from a chance to receive a grant award. This story by Eliza Peters won Gateway Pet Guardians in Missouri  a 2017 Holiday Wishes award.