By Meg Goldsmith
Groton, Connecticut, USA
I first met Kerry via the Internet in 1993 due to our mutual interest in baseball. We didn’t actually meet until 1994, when several of us e-mail baseball pals got together in person for a week of baseball and friendship. Not until the year after that did I find out how much of a friend Kerry would turn out to be.
In July 1995, my collie got sick. At first I thought it wasn’t anything serious, but as he moved into his fourth day with no appetite and extreme lethargy, I took him to the vet. The veterinarian found that he was running a very high fever and immediately hospitalized him while trying to determine what was wrong. The next day I had a call from a specialist who told me that it wasn’t good news. My collie had pancreatitis and she considered his prognosis to be very poor. She explained that she hadn’t had much luck with this disease in collies but she’d do all she could for him. She also told me that it was probably going to cost at least $500 to treat him.
I was devastated by this news, particularly since I had no money to spare, having recently purchased my first home. I sent an e-mail note to Kerry explaining what was going on, and added that I might have to put my dog to sleep because I couldn’t afford the veterinarian’s bill.
Within an hour, Kerry wrote back and told me that he would pay for treatment, just tell him how much I needed and he’d send me a check. When I read his words, I started to cry because nobody had ever before made such an offer to me. I told him I’d get back to him.
The next day I visited my dog. That’s when I got the full scope of how sick he was. The vet technician brought him out, tethered to an intravenous feeding device. He didn’t recognize me at all because of the high fever, and he wasn’t responding to the medication they’d been giving him. I petted him and told him that I’d do what I could. I went home and called Kerry, explaining just how sick my dog was. He told me it didn’t matter, that he wanted to help me, so I accepted his offer.
The next day, the vet tried a different treatment and they were finally able to break the fever. Slowly my dog improved and he was able to come home after a week in the hospital. I repaid all the money to Kerry the next year. Amazingly enough, my dog continues to do well on a special diet five years later.
The kindness Kerry demonstrated at a time of such great distress showed me what true friendship is all about.