Anonymous benefactor pays $2,000 vet
Simon the dog was in trouble, howling in pain after the hit-and-run driver sped through the Davie trailer park. The vet said it would cost $2,000 to fix his leg, a fortune for Lois Ogren, 38, a single mother of two who's on food stamps and Medicaid.
But a woman in the waiting room, there for her cat's cardiology appointment, stepped forward and slapped down her credit card.
"I'll take care of it," she said.
Simon, an 11-year-old half-schnauzer, half-spitz, was hit at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, while Ogren, her son and daughter were still sleeping.
"My cat woke me up, telling me there's something wrong with my dog," Ogren said. Simon's right foot was twisted backward and dangling.
Ogren rushed him to a nearby vet, who suggested the Veterinary Specialists of South Florida, on Stirling Road in Cooper City.
Karen Teft, an intern handling emergencies, told Ogren the dog needed X-rays and probably surgery. The bill: $2,000.
Ogren began to sob, trying to figure out whether she could cut any more corners with the groceries. She owns the land her mobile home is on, but is in the process of dumping her leaky 12-foot by 60-foot mobile home and buying a 7-year-old 27-by-56. She works as a costume maker and sales person at the Dragon's Den costume shop in Pembroke Pines.
"We really felt bad, but we've been stiffed too many times," said Teft, who joined the practice in June. "I came to help animals, not to have money situations get in the way."
That's where the waiting room benefactor came in. She was holding a credit card and didn't care if she ever got her money back.
"My jaw hit the floor," Teft said.
The woman, who owns four cats and lives in northwest Broward, said she doesn't want her name published. It's about the animals, she said.
"People have become more aware that animals aren't just a purchase. They're a piece of your family," she said. "They should have a chance as well."
Ogren was hysterical. Again.
"I think I squeezed her bones right out of her body, I hugged her so hard," she said.
Simon left the animal hospital on Wednesday with a padded splint and a lot of soft tissue damage. Mother and dog are resting comfortably.
The benefactor is, too.
"When my head hit the pillow Tuesday night I was smiling because I knew Simon would be OK," she said. "It was just one of those things that happened. You just do what you gotta do."
Nick Sortal can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org