How much can you grow to love a dog in a little over a month? Christen Johnson and her family found out exactly how much on Sunday.

It was late November when Christen read about a 2-year-old husky named Demon on Craigslist. An elderly couple, who lived in a small camper with two other dogs and two cats, was trying to find a “real home” for the young dog. Christen couldn’t ignore the post and sent her husband to go get the dog on Thanksgiving Day. She, her husband, their five children, and 4-year-old lab, Batman, quickly bonded with the dog, who they renamed “Nightwing” (“Demon” simply didn’t fit their new companion) … and he with them.

“If the kids watched a movie, he stood guard at their feet,” explains Christen. “Same went for napping, playing, even eating. He lays on the floor under the center of the table watching everyone.”

This past Sunday, while Christen was walking Nightwing and Batman, Nightwing jerked away from her, causing her to lose her grip on his leash. Before she could grab him, he was in the street and a truck, which seemed to come out of nowhere, hit Nightwing, painfully dragging him about 50 feet down the road.

After finding their local vet was closed, the Johnsons rushed Nightwing to VRCC. By the time they reached the emergency vet, which is about 1 ½ hours from their home, Nightwing, along with the seat he was lying on and even the car door, were covered in blood.

At VRCC, the doctors found that Nightwing surprisingly had no broken bones, but he did have severe wounds that needed to be closed with surgery. The Johnsons were concerned about how they would cover the large bill, so they began calling, texting and emailing everyone they knew to find the funds. But they didn’t have much luck.

“Two days after the accident my husband said we needed to consider that we might not be able to afford to get Nightwing out of VRCC. This thought was too much to handle so I once again made my plea, but this time on Facebook,” explains Christen. “One of my husband’s cousins mentioned VET Fund, along with several others. I made my plea to every single one—22 to be exact—but only VET Fund offered to help!”

It’s five days after the surgery, and Nightwing is looking pretty happy to be back in his new home. The Johnson family is even happier to have him back!

“I now have hope and so does my husband,” says Christen. “Good people do exist; you just have to be patient and not give up.”

At VET Fund, our mission is to help pet owners, who love their pets like the Johnsons, afford the care they need. If you would like to contribute to Nightwing’s after-surgery care, donate here.