Nancy Moreno lives in Belleair Beach and she has the best-named dog in the world.
Actually, Moreno would just as soon avoid the word "dog" because for her this kind of pet takes on an almost human quality.
Miracle is the name in question and Miracle experienced - along with Nancy and her husband, Bruce - recently a turnaround of an old saying.
A dog man's best friend? In the case of Miracle it turns out that a man was her best friend. And Miracle, a 2 ½ pound Maltese Teacup, has a name that foretold her future, it turns out.
That man was Dr. Matt Licht, a veterinarian who runs the Indian Rocks Beach Animal Hospital on Gulf Boulevard.
This is what happened . . .
On Memorial Day weekend, Nancy and Bruce awakened to find Miracle stricken and unable to breathe.
They rushed from their home on 9th Street in Belleair Beach to Licht's hospital where he commenced the extraordinary work that resulted in saving Miracle's life.
I tell you that now, because I want the good news to be fairly up front and suspense is not in order in stories of this nature.
After preliminary procedures, Licht discovered - apparently - that the only thing that was going to possibly save Miracle was mouth to mouth resuscitation.
So, for two and a half hours, he forced oxygen from his mouth into Miracle's lungs and kept the tiny dog alive.
The vet then asked Nancy and Bruce if he could keep the dog overnight and continue his work. "He didn't want to raise our expectations, he said," Nancy relates, "but he said he thought he could pull Miracle through."
The Morenos agreed to this. Licht called that evening and said that Miracle was still alive, hanging in. He wanted Miracle, who had fallen into a coma, to stay with him over the weekend. Again, the Morenos agreed.
By Tuesday, Licht reported that Miracle was coming out of the coma and she saw Miracle for the first time in several days.
"Miracle didn't look like she had," Nancy says. "It was obvious she was sick and had been through a very trying experience."
Now, more than a month later, Miracle is back home with Nancy and Bruce and returning closer to normal.
Saving Miracle was extraordinary. But to Nancy, Licht's efforts were beyond anything she has ever known.
"What Doctor Licht did, nobody else would ever do - and you wouldn't really expect them to," Nancy says.
The Morenos are overwhelmed with gratitude for Licht's dedication to saving a helpless and dangerously sick animal.
"And on top of all he did," Nancy says, "he would take no money for what he did."
Ah, what refreshing news in the beggar thy neighbor world this has become.
Some things transcend mere money.
An Indian Rocks Beach veterinarian lives up to the finest traditions of his profession.
The Morenos are grateful and witness to the idea that man may be dog's best friend.
And Miracle is living up to her name.
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