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Lifestyle & Human Interest

8-Year-Old Starts Selling Off His Pokémon Cards to Pay for Beloved Dog's Treatment

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The childhood bond between a kid and his dog is a beautiful thing to see, and it’s heartbreaking when that bond is threatened.

Bryson Kliemann, an 8-year-old boy from Lebanon, Virginia, is one of three kids. He felt left out of his siblings’ fun until Bruce, a puppy, entered his life.

“It made me kind of sad because usually my brother and my sister play together and usually I don’t have anybody to play with,” Bryson told WCYB. “So I usually go and play with [Bruce].”

Last month, Bruce started acting strange.

“He wasn’t coming out of his cage and being the normal puppy that he usually is,” mom Kimberly Woodruff explained. “He was very lethargic, just not doing good.”

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The news wasn’t good: Bruce was diagnosed with canine parvovirus, a deadly infection that especially affects puppies. Treatment would cost around $700.

The family didn’t have the funds to devote to Bruce’s treatment. But Bryson took matters into his own hands and came up with a plan.

“I know everybody likes Pokémon cards, so I just decided to sell them,” he said.

“I get a text message with a picture of him and a sign on the side of the road from his dad, selling Pokémon cards,” Woodruff said.

Bryson hadn’t even told her about his plan, but it took off once she shared it on social media.

“My little boy is trying to raise money to help our very [very] sick puppy, by selling his pokemon cards,” Woodruff posted on Facebook. “Bruce was recently diagnosed with parvo and is currently fighting for his life.”

People responded positively, stopping by to buy cards from Bryson or donating to a GoFundMe page.

“I know I have been raising him right,” Woodruff wrote on GoFundMe. “He is beside the road trying to sell his favorite thing in the world just to make his puppy better.

So far, the fundraiser has raised over $5,600 — more than enough.

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Woodruff said the extra will go toward Bruce’s future vaccinations and to “other families and their dogs.”

On May 8, Bruce was able to go home. He needs continued care, but he is well enough to be back with his family.

“I was so happy because I wanted to get him back,” Bryson said.

The family has been left reeling by the amount of attention their story has gotten.

According to the BBC, even Pokémon headquarters reached out to Bryson to offer him some rare cards to help replace the collection he sold.

Thanks to a community of caring and generous individuals, Bryson and Bruce should have plenty of years ahead of them to make memories.

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking