Sometimes there's an angel nearby, ready to come to your rescue. Earlier this week, an Iowa angel helped save a dog's life.

That's Stella on the left above, along with her owner Amanda. On Sunday night, December 19, Amanda, who describes herself as a crazy animal person, recognized what was wrong with Stella. She knew Stella was suffering from GDV (Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus). The American College of Veterinary Surgeons calls GDV a "rapidly progressive life-threatening condition of dogs." Knowing Stella would require surgery, Amanda called her vet who said they couldn't perform it. Their advice? Get Stella to Des Moines immediately.

Amanda made the 50+-mile trip from Chariton to Des Moines and an x-ray was done on Stella. That cost alone was $533, according to Amanda. She paid for the x-ray, which confirmed GDV and that Stella would require surgery. The estimated price tag for the procedure was anywhere from $5800 to $8000. Money that would need to be paid before the surgery could be performed. Money Amanda didn't have.

After calling 20 or more other vets to see if they could do the surgery at a lower price, Amanda called family members. She called friends. The money simply wasn't there, so Amanda had to make what she called "the gut-wrenching decision to put Stella down and not let her suffer."

Amanda took Stella from the Des Moines vet's office, with plans to take her to her veterinarian in Chariton the following morning for the unthinkable goodbye. As she walked through the parking lot crying out loud Amanda says a woman hollered to her, asking if she was ok. With a simple "no" she put Stella into her vehicle. When she turned around, the woman was standing there asking what was wrong. Little did she know it, but that woman would be the angel that would save Stella's life.

Admittedly not wanting to share her grief with a stranger, something caused Amanda to do just that. The woman hugged Amanda as she poured her heart out. The anonymous woman then told Amanda to get inside the vehicle to warm up. Then, the woman climbed in the back seat with Stella. For 10 minutes they sat and Amanda explained to her what Stella meant not just to her, but to her kids. What happened next is nothing short of a Christmas week miracle.

The woman went in to talk to the vet. A few minutes later, Amanda says she came back to the vehicle, opened the door, and said, "Come on Stella, you’re getting your surgery and I’m taking care of it!” The woman took Amanda's hand and together they all went into the vet's office.

Stella had the surgery and Amanda picked her up on Monday. Amanda now knows who the woman is but the woman wants no accolades so her identity hasn't been divulged.

Amanda says she's had Stella a third of her life and described her in her online post as "my rock." She goes on to say, "It still feels absolutely unreal but there are amazing, selfless, loving, caring people out there! Don’t give up hope on the good that still exists in this world!"

Thanks to an Iowa angel, these two will hopefully have many more loving days to spend together.

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