Dare To Care For Sophie
I dare you to dare Jenny Smith to do something crazy.
I double dog dare you.
It just might help Sophie live a while longer.
In October, Smith’s dog Sophie was diagnosed with cancer and began undergoing chemotherapy treatments. Smith, a Fort Worth native currently living in New York, spent $6,000 of her own money but soon realized she needed financial help to pay medical bills that would eventually balloon to about $25,000.
She focused on fundraising for awhile and raised another $11,000. Now she needs about $5,000 more to pay for the final radiation treatments, and so she developed a web site — www.dare2care4sophie.com — and came up with an idea.
Dare her to do something and offer her money, and she’ll do it. So far, she’s participated in charity races while wearing a dog costume, she’s sung opera outside of Lincoln Center, she’s mimed with strangers in Central Park, carried around a boombox and danced to disco music in Penn Station, and mailed packages at a Harlem post office while in full dog regalia.
She’s ready for more dares.
“I feel like the dares have been way too easy,” she said. “I’m dying for somebody to dare me to shave my head. For the right price, no problem. I’d shave my head. I’m waiting for those big dares to come in.”
Smith grew up in Fort Worth and graduated from LD Bell High School in 1995 and Texas Wesleyan University in 2000. She worked at the Casa Manana box office for several years and then moved to New York. She is now box office manager at the Manhattan School of Music.
Being a cold-hearted bastard myself, I can’t help but ask Smith — is a dog really worth spending upwards of $25,000 on? After all, the treatments are only expected to allow Sophie, 6, to live comfortably for a few years. Wouldn’t that money be better spent on beer or something?
Smith said Sophie is her best pal and worth every penny.
“I’m away from my family back home in Texas and she’s like my kiddo and my companion and it’s important for me to do as much as I can for her,” Smith said. “It’s really about extending Sophie’s life and making sure those last couple of years we have together are good years.”
For now, Sophie is her top priority.
“You allocate your resources to what your priority is,” she said. “I have a roof over my head, a steady job, enough to eat. When something like this comes up I just know I have to fight. Sometimes I still can’t believe I’m doing it.”
Being helped out financially by charities such as the Reidel & Cody Fund have made Smith more benevolent than ever. Reidel & Cody Fund provides information, support and funding to people whose pets have cancer. “Ironically at this point in my life, at the most financially precarious moment in my life, I’ve given more to charity than I ever have,” she said.
Sophie’s radiation treatments end on May 18 and the final bill is due — $5,000. If you feel like daring Smith to do something in exchange for a donation, check out her web site.
If you think she’s a complete fool for spending the price of a new car just to allow a dog to live a couple more years, well, that’s your opinion. But it won’t stop Smith. Sophie’s her buddy, and that’s what buddies are for.