Schmidt took Dutch to the University of Florida in Gainesville, where veterinarians told her it was too late for medication to be effective. They said the best option for prolonging Dutch's life would be to see a world-renowned veterinarian from Japan named Dr. Masami Uechi.
He’s one of the only vets in the world who has successfully performed a type of canine open-heart surgery that could possibly save Dutch’s life.
“My husband and I just said, ‘well, we’re going to do it no matter what,’” Schmidt said.
The surgery wouldn’t be easy or cheap. To fly overseas, Dutch had to get special vaccinations and remain in quarantine.
And the price?
“It was around $40,000,” Schmidt said.