Man Mowing For Dog's Life Makes Progress

By: Lauren Zakalik Email
By: Lauren Zakalik Email

At this time last week, only one person had responded to Richard Reister's offer to mow lawns for $10 as he saved for his dog's life-saving surgery.

As of Wednesday, he'd gotten, oh, just a few more calls.

"At least 500," he says.

We first reported on Reister's quest to save his dog's life Saturday. The disabled veteran can barely walk. Now, his dog David barely can either. He needs two new hips or he'll have to be put to sleep.

But since Saturday, e-mails have poured into our station-- people from places like Chicago and St. Louis, who don't want their lawns mowed. They simply want to donate.

"I was just thinking when it started it would give me more yards to cut," Reister says of the phenomenon.

Last week, he'd made about 20 bucks towards his goal of $8,000. By Wednesday night, he had nearly $800 in his hands, with no idea how much more was coming in the mail. One man in Iraq is sending him $200-- $100 in honor of each of the man's two dogs.

"I didn't expect this kind of response. I've already burned two batteries on my phone. I've been brought to tears many times when I've answered some of these calls," Reister says.

And now, another obstacle. A few days ago, Reister was mowing some thick grass. Some of the grass got stuck in the tractor mower and the mower ended up bucking him off. Now he has some cracked bones, he's in a lot of pain and his doctors have told him to take it easy for a while.

"I have to put limits on what I can do."

Lucky for Reister and his dog David, there are no limits on how many people will be moved by their story.

If you'd like to donate money to Richard Reister's dog David, you can mail checks to:

Richard Reister
1726 W. Brady Street
Chesaning, MI 48616

Some people have been talking about setting up a PayPal account for Richard; stay tuned to WILX for the latest on these developments.


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  • by Kathy Location: Indianapolis on May 23, 2007 at 01:02 PM
    I ditto what Kim has said. Shame on you Jes. These creatures give us love and care unconditionally which I can't say for some humans!!!!! I personally spent over $3,000 to save my cat who had cancer. I tried it all, but she gave up and went to Heaven. I would do it again in a heartbeat. With all that goes on in the World, when I walk thru my door at night, I am greeted by my 2 dogs and 3 kitties who are my wonderful companions. They are always there when I need them, and I them. I will donate to this, and pray for that beauty, David and Mr. Reister. I also must say, God Bless our Vets. They are why we still live in a free Country, and many have forgotten this!!!!!!!!! It's dispicable! Sincerely, Kathy - Indy .......bless the beasts and the children, for in this World, they have no voice....they have no choice.
  • by Jennifer Location: Howell on May 22, 2007 at 06:21 PM
    After reading Mr. Reister's story last week I was so moved. I am an avid animal lover and the thought of Mr. Reister losing his best friend seemed so tragic. Also, I am a strong believer that all Americans owe a great debt to our soldiers past and present. I knew I wanted to donate money to help this man; it seemed like the least I could do. I also decided to bring Mr. Reister’s situation to the attention of my students (I teach 8th grade). I wanted my students to have an opportunity to donate if they wanted to also. I offered to match any donations they would like to make to help Mr. Reister. I explained that even a nickel, a dime, or a quarter can add up and together we can make a positive difference in Mr. Reister’s life. I am very proud of my students and exceedingly pleased with their generosity. Tomorrow, we are sending a check to Mr. Reister for $547.82.
  • by Tania Location: West Palm Beach, FL on May 22, 2007 at 06:55 AM
    I called him after reading the first article. He and his wife called me back. They are extremely nice people and they only want to help their dog. Richard was almost in tears describing his best friend to me. Yesterday, I sent his story to Oprah and everyone @ Fox News, with Fox being very supportive of Veterans. Hopefully, they will cover his story and he will get all the money he needs to save his dog. Good Luck Richard and I hope you and David are together for a very long time. Take care!
  • by Paola Location: Milano - Italy on May 21, 2007 at 02:38 PM
    I suggest Mr. Reister submit an application to Orthodogs' Silver Lining, should he still need funding: www.oslf.org info@oslf.org The organization was founded to avoid cases in which the only option, for lack of funds, would be to euthanize a dog -be it a service dog, a rescue or a companion.
  • by Polly Location: New York on May 21, 2007 at 09:59 AM
    I am an avid animal lover and agree that there is no price on companionship and that the human-animal bond is of infinite value. Whether the surgery is $8 or $8,000, not getting it is not an option. And obviously, I'll be sending Mr. Reister a check. But that being said, although I emphatically disagree with Jes, in this great country, he has the right to his opinion and the right to voice it. Hopefully he will come to understand that it is not just about "a dog" but is truly a matter of Mr. Reister's continued well-being, as well as that of his dog.
  • by Lakota the Pomeranian Location: Nebraska on May 20, 2007 at 12:11 AM
    What a pawsome story! One of my pals shared it in our Pom Pom Group on Dogster! We wish you both, Richard
  • by J Location: Jackson on May 18, 2007 at 05:43 PM
    Well said Kim I think that Jes needs to learn a little from life and have some compasion for others. It seems to me that the only thing Jes cares about is himself. Now as a animal lover I have a dog and I would do what ever I possibly could for my dog to keep the dog healthy and if it needed some surgery I would do what I could to get the surgery for the dog and not just let it go and have it put to sleep like it is just a worthless piece of crap. I am not one for putting a animal down unless it is a absolute last resort after all other options have been explored and tried. So I guess it is just time for Jes to cool it and if Jes does not care for animals then that is fine but don't tell others who do that they are wrong for caring and there companion.
  • by kim Location: HILLSDALE on May 17, 2007 at 01:30 PM
    JES, GET A LIFE!!!! YOU OBVIOUSLY ARE NOT AN ANIMAL OWNER OR ANIMAL LOVER FOR THAT MATTER. THIS ISN'T JUST A PET TO MR.REISTER, BUT A COMPANION!! BEST FRIEND!! IF IT WERE YOUR BEST FRIEND THAT NEEDED SURGERY WOULD YOU TELL THEM i'D RATHER PUT YOU TO SLEEP AND USE THE MONEY FOR MYSELF. GOD YOU ARE COLD HEARTED. AS FOR MR.REISTER'S OTHER MEDICAL NEEDS THAT'S NOT YOUR CONCERN EITHER, DO YOU HAVE ANY CLUE AT ALL HOW MUCH IT COSTS TO TRAIN A DOG TO SERVICE THE NEEDS OF THOSE THAT NEED A SERVICE DOG LET ALONE HOW LONG THE WAITING LIST IS AND HOW LONG IT TAKES TO TRAIN THE DOG! I DIDN'T THINK SO!!! MR. REISTER HAS A DOG THAT FITS HIS NEEDS THEY'VE BONDED AND NOT IT'S TIME FOR YOU TO SHUT UP AND APPOLOGIZE TO ALL OF US THAT HAVE A HEART AND THOSE OF US THAT CARE.
  • by Daisy Location: jackson on May 17, 2007 at 01:03 PM
    I think is wonderful how people are helping and wish mr Reister and David the best . animal lovers know that pets are your family.
  • by Lisa Location: Holt on May 17, 2007 at 11:56 AM
    Glad to see people can come together in times of need for others. Some of these pets are like family members to us. Wouldn't it be nice if a vet stepped up and offered up his services at a discount for this man and his dog!
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