Madison Fleaks had been in Texas Children's Hospital in Houston for over six months waiting for a heart transplant. She was born with a congenital heart condition.
Not yet two years old, she may have forgotten much of her life at home. But she still remembered her two dogs; their photograph sat framed next to her hospital bed.
"If you said anything about the dogs, she would point and want to kiss the picture," said her mother, Tabitha Fleaks. Madison has been in and out of hospitals, she said, enduring multiple surgeries.
"She has been sick her whole life. All she knows is me, her dad, and the two dogs."
So when her dog Kodiak showed up in her hospital room one day, Madison was thrilled.