“It’s a really bad feeling when you know you can’t really do anything for your dog,” sighed Dani Hernandez.
The 13-year-old sat on a bench with her beloved Benji, a seven-year-old scruffy dog and Dani’s best friend.
“Benji is a real cheerful, happy-going dog. She has a really fun personality,” smiled the 8th grader.
The two met seven years ago while Dani was on a walk with her family.
“We saw [Benji] as a puppy on the street,” Dani remembered. “She was so tiny and fluffy, and I just said I wanted to get her.”
The little dog didn’t have a microchip or dog tags. No one apparently wanted Benji until Dani walked by. They’ve been inseparable since. Lately, Benji has kept Dani sane during the long months of stay-at-home school.
“I like going to the park with her and playing with her and it really helps me get rid of all that stress,” said Dani, whose full name is Daniela.
Unfortunately, those walks have gotten harder for the dog. Dani said Benji sometimes couldn’t make it halfway.
Dani’s parents took Benji to the veterinarian.
“They told us that she had breast cancer and they had also detected a tumor on her stomach,” said Dani while pointing at two lumps on the dog’s stomach.
“I immediately started crying because I knew from the beginning when she wasn’t acting right, something was wrong with her,” said Dani. “When it really does hit her hard, she doesn’t really want to get up the whole day.”
The vet said removing Benji’s tumors would cost roughly $1,400. Dani said the price was steep for the family that has struggled financially during the pandemic. She refused to opt for euthanasia. Dani started her own GoFundMe page to raise money for Benji’s surgery. Dani even contacted NBC 7 for help.
She said the doctors want to perform the surgery by mid-December before the cancerous tumors spread any farther in Benji’s body.
Update: By Monday evening, Dani Hernandez' GoFundMe page was surging past its goal!