Sometimes in life a person provides an act of kindness so great, that words can only mildly express the gratitude the recipient feels. ”Thank you” seems small, but those two words are, in my opinion, the most meaningful one can express. Yet, I imagine this post isn’t about just gratitude, its about respecting someone with integrity and selflessness. Qualities so rare, that when they shows themselves- are neon bright. I’ll explain.
Recently, our dog buddy acted his age (1 yr) and dismembered a dog treat, meant to be everlasting. We were shocked to come home and find him covered in vomit and refusing to eat or go outside. It was horrible. When we took him to the vet, we found that a piece of the treat had been lodged in his esophagus. The vet originally thought it was in his stomach (even after an X Ray that CLEARLY showed it was in his esophagus), so he unnecessarily cut open Buddy- to find (as I just told you)- nothing in his stomach. Buddy came home and was still horribly ill- and getting worse by the day. Buddy was losing weight by the minute, throwing up, uncontrolled bladder, restless and just plain miserable. The bills were piling up and the end was no where in sight.
Side note: one thing I will say made me laugh is that when we sat in the “specialist’s” office, the first comment out of the vet’s mouth was, “we treat every animal as our own pet.” Followed almost immediately by, “we cannot do a payment plan for the $2500+ surgery you dog needs to live, sorry.”
It was at that moment that I decided to let the treat company know just what they were putting us through. So, I wrote a letter.
A letter that was answered within ten minutes of me sending it, by the president and COO of the company. My mouth dropped.
It was at that moment that my opinion of people changed. Well, two people in particular, Mr. Keith Benson and his wife, Emily. They actually cared. Mr. Benson called my home, on a Saturday morning, to express his concern for Buddy. That call alone made my eyes water and my heart melt. He let me know that his wife received the email, and immediately called it to his attention. They have dogs, train dogs, run a company saturated with dogs, but most of all- they love dogs. I explained what exactly the vet said, and he explained that the treat was created to dissolve in the stomach gasses, not in the esophagus. He was concerned for how uncomfortable Buddy must be feeling, as his own dogs have had a bone caught in their throat before. He understood. He insisted that I immediately take Buddy back to the vet- and that he would cover the costs. It was an act of kindness so unbelievable that I started crying right there on the phone with him. I felt like I was on an episode of Ellen!
Buddy is now out of the first of three corrective surgeries. He is eating kibble already, putting weight back on, and scheduled for his last two follow-up procedures next week. Buddy is going to be okay. Buddy is going to wiggle his butt, lick our faces, make noises that make us laugh, snuggle, run around and chase everything that moves because of you, Mr. Benson and your wife Emily.
Thank you, so very much, not only for your tremendously generous gift, but for having the integrity to respond, the wisdom to understand and most of all, the heart to really care about our puppy. You forever have loyal customers, confident testimonials, and most of all respect, from a small family in Exeter, New Hampshire.