Man Leaves NJ Bartender $1,000 Tip to Help Pay for Dog's Surgery

Christina Summit says she had no idea how she would pay for her dog's emergency surgery

Monday, Apr 28, 2014  |  Updated 6:23 AM EDT
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A New Jersey bartender who mentioned to a patron that her dog needed surgery got the surprise of her life: a $1,000 tip. Pat Battle reports.

A New Jersey bartender who mentioned to a patron that her dog needed surgery got the surprise of her life: a $1,000 tip. Pat Battle reports.

A New Jersey bartender says she will never forget the compassion shown to her by a customer who left a $1,000 tip to help pay for her dog's emergency surgery.

Christina Summitt returned from work last Tuesday to find her 3-year-old Lab mix Tucker sick, vomiting and unable to eat. She took him to the vet, and a few days later, an X-ray showed an obstruction in his colon. The vet opened up Tucker and discovered he had swallowed a rubber ball. 

Summit was at work tending bar at a Holiday Inn in Clinton on Friday when the vet called and told her a $3,000 surgery would save Tucker's life. 

"I had no idea at this point how I was going to pay it," she said. "I prayed to the money gods, 'please, please, please.'"

During the shift, a couple Summit was serving spotted the dog paw tattooed on her arm and began talking about pets. The conversation turned to the animals Summit has rescued and to Tucker. She asked the couple to pray for her dog, and when they left, Summit discovered the man had settled the $80 tab and left a $1,000 tip. 

"I said, 'Joe, you know, what is this, you can't do this. Why would you do this?'" said Summit. "He said, 'You put it towards Tucker's bill.'"

"He didn't want any recognition. He actually messaged me today to say, 'Have fun with all this,' because I'm overwhelmed," she said of the attention she's gotten. "He said, 'Hopefully,  this inspires many, many other people to pay it forward."

The general manager at the Holiday Inn where Summit works says the customer's generosity has created a huge response. 

"I think why this has created so much of a stir is because everyone wants to believe it's in all of us to do it," said Michelle Satanik. 

Tucker was back frolicking outside in the sunshine Friday, playing with his toys again. 

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