A few days ago, my world was turned upside down by Hurley.
Hurley is a 1-year-old Jack Russell-Beagle mix my boyfriend rescued from the Binghamton Humane Society last February.
She has since become our little baby (here’s to contraception and not having human babies yet!), but this past Tuesday we found ourselves in a horrible position.
Hurley was really sick and needed to spend the night at the vet so they could perform a non-invasive surgery.
The surgery was going to cost my boyfriend $700 — money he did not have, but had to find.
When they called us later that night, we were not expecting to hear that our little pup was probably going to need a much more serious and expensive surgery at the veterinary hospital in Cornell.
At first, we did what most neurotic “parents” would do — we lost our shit. I cried for hours, alternating between moaning-myrtle sobs and mini panic attacks. My boyfriend, David, kept repeating, “We can’t afford a big surgery” while staring into space.
Then I called my father and got a Michael Mercante pep talk that could rival Denzel Washington’s in “Remember the Titans.” He told me to do what I do best — promote.
My boyfriend agreed that despite my hatred for networking, I was good at it (perhaps 20 years of being a loud-mouthed attention whore helps) and the two of us sat down and brainstormed.
We decided to create a Chip-In webpage, which is a secure donation site where you can post up pictures and information regarding what you need a donation for. I started posting it all over the Facebook pages of fellow animal rescue friends.
Getting the word out helped. By the next day we had more than $100 donated.
On campus, friends of mine handed me crumpled-up bills or told me that they’d already donated online. Writing center tutors (who make no money by the way, please pay us) reached into their wallets and gave Hurley a chance.
Ryan Vaughan let David speak in his “Stand Up Nation” class and about a dozen people stuffed bills into his hand after, with dozens more writing down the website and sharing it with friends.
And Karen Salvage, undergraduate program director in the department of geological sciences, saw our flyer and gave us an extremely generous donation — without ever having met either Hurley or the two of us.
For me, this experience has opened up my eyes to two very important things.
One is that dogs have an amazing effect on people — one that transcends cultural, social or economical boundaries. Our love for our dogs is one of the deepest kinds of love that can exist, and people can feel the connection between a dog and its owner.
I have always been a dog person and with my recent foray into rescuing, I have seen some horrible ways people treat their animals. My pit bull was abused and found on the street. Hurley was left at a shelter because she was too energetic. The list of offenses perpetuated on canine by man is disturbingly long.
But Hurley’s condition and the response we have gotten have shown me there are plenty of people who respect the bond between man and dog, and understand that when you have a dog, you would do anything to keep it safe.
Second, I realized that, as much as I hate many of us, there really are amazing people out there in the world, who will do whatever they can to help someone in need.
As I write this, we have raised $1,800 for Hurley’s surgery in a matter of two days. She is next to me right now, with a little cone on her head so she doesn’t hurt herself, completely oblivious that we love her — and so do plenty of other people.