SMITHVILLE — After resounding community support to complete items on her bucket list, Katie the bulldog went into surgery this month to repair a rare birth defect, a liver shunt. The English bulldog won her battle, pulling through the complicated surgery.

At almost 8 months old, the canine has spent most of her life in a veterinarian office. Katie suffers from upper respiratory infections, painful bladder stones, a hernia and has had four eye surgeries.

"Her surgery had complications," owner Debbie Pack said. "Her blood pressure dropped."

When she came out of puppy intensive care, a second set of complications began to set in for Katie such as fever and respiratory distress, Pack continued. Katie also had gas, discharge from her nose and vomiting.

"Things were going downhill, and we prayed so hard," Pack said, adding the odds of survival were against Katie. "Desperate, I started playing the videos of the bucket list."

The next morning, Pack said, Katie was fine. All equipment, tubes and monitors had been disconnected for the dog to be discharged by day two.

"This is a miracle," Pack said. "As we were leaving, I asked the surgeon to mark off the last wish: making it to her first birthday."

Northwest Editor Sean Roberts can be reached at or 389-6606.​

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