Andy Dong refers to his dog Heidi as a "surprise baby".
The Dubbo dog came into his life in 2016 when he was on sabbatical as a vising professor at Standford University in the United States.
While he was away, his partner Paul Schofield started fostering some dogs.
"On my regular calls back to Australia with my partner Paul, I noticed over a two week period that the same dog would appear with him on the call. By the fourth week, I wondered whether the dog that was being fostered was more than merely fostered," Dr Dong said.
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Heidi - then called Frost - had been abandoned with her litter in Dubbo. Mr Schofield took her in, fell in love with her and couldn't resist adopting her through Australian Working Dog Rescue.
The couple already had one rescue dog Bertie, and despite not planning for another, Dr Dong said Heidi "worked her way into our hearts".
She went to live with them in Sydney but in 2017 the family decided to move to the US, settling in Portland in 2019.
Dr Dong said getting Heidi and Bertie to the US was an easier process than it was for Australia-born citizen Paul. Organisation Jet Pets handled all of the paperwork.
The dogs were picked up, put in a kennel for one night and boarded onto QF73 for their flight, the same one Dr Dong had taken to San Francisco about a month earlier.
Photo: Heidi, five from the left, with her Best Friends Furever Club.
Mr Schofield followed months later after his visa cleared.
Now, the family lives in the the Beaumount-Wilshire neighbourhood of Portland. Unfortunately, Bertie died in 2018.
"Heidi loves it here. She is obsessed with chasing squirrels, and there are many squirrels here. She happily spends hours staring at the squirrels in the trees and on the neighbors' garage roof," Dr Dong said.
She also has a thriving social life, spending every Thursday walking with the Best Friends Furever Club.
"She's my little girl - even though she's 4 now. She's my little rabbit, because she loves to jump. She's supposed to be a working dog, but she didn't get that memo. She's mostly a lap dog, but only when she wants," Dr Dong said.
She's learnt to catch treats in mid-air and next the family is going to teak her to jump through a hula-hoop.
"I'm so glad Paul 'accidentally' adopted her. You might call Heidi a surprise baby."