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A boy, his dog...and the kindness of strangers

Bear the dog became ill with an infection that can be fatal if not treated quickly... with expensive medication.

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - This story is about a boy and his dog...and the kindness of strangers.

It's about how a young boy's determination to save his best friend touched many hearts.

Bear, Lucas, and his mom recently returned to an animal hospital for another check-up. Bear is feeling well… this time. But just a few weeks ago, Bear needed more than hugs.

“I first noticed it July 4th weekend, said Karen Fuller. "He'd grown lethargic and started developing lesions on paws and eyes.”

Bear had Blastomycosis.

“It's a fungal infection dogs will contract from soil in the Midwest,” Karen said.

It can be fatal if not caught soon enough, and it requires a lot of expensive medication. The first month, it cost $1,000.

“With a six-month prognosis, I'm like ‘Okay, how are we going to do this for six months? It's impossible, there's no way we can do that’,” Karen said.

But Lucas wasn't about to let go.

Lucas and Bear became best pals three years ago when his older brother found the little fur ball in a dumpster on a bitter cold night. The temperature was 12 below zero.

“He's my dog and he's been with us long enough to make an imprint on us and we've decided he's part of the family and in our family, family doesn't let each other down,” he said.

So Lucas went to work.

“I tacked up a sign," said Lucas. "I said please, please help save my dog's life, I am willing to work for money and all that."

Willing to mow lawns, trim and wash cars. And he did. Then someone posted the flyer on Facebook.

“People called with prayers, wishes and emails,” Karen said.

And offers to help pay for Bear's treatment. One came from JR Grounds with the Civilian Crisis Response Team.

“We were kind of touched by the idea of a young man would not just beg for money but was really willing to work,” said Grounds.

They helped set up a GoFundMe page and within two days, Bear's bills were covered.

"I just can't express my gratitude, I'm just so thankful,” Lucas said. It just makes me flabbergasted how big it is. I didn't expect it to spread like wildfire.”