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What can an 8-year-old do when his sick dog’s life is on the line?

The answer for 8-year-old Bryson Kliemann is save him, by any means necessary — even if that means selling off your treasured Pokemon cards to pay for his surgery.

Bryson, of Taylor, loves the cards he has been collecting for the past four years, but he loves his best buddy, a Rottweiler/lab mix named Bruce, even more.

After hearing his mother and stepfather, Kimberly and Tyler Woodruff, of Lebanon, Va., talk about the expense of treating Bruce for parvo, Bryson reached for the one thing he said he knew had value — the Pokemon cards.

The youngster resides with his parents in Virginia, but spends the summers with his father, Brandon Kliemann, in Taylor.

Just prior to returning to Taylor, Bryson put up a sign by his house near the roadway that said, “Pokemon 4 sale.”

He sat at a school desk and chair and waited.

Bryson caught the attention of motorists passing by and just about everyone who stopped wanted to know why he was selling the cards.

“I told them my dog is sick and needs surgery,” he said. “On the first day I made $65. That’s just crazy.”

Dave Cole Jr., Bryson’s grandfather, resides in Taylor as well and said the kiddo thought the money was “astronomical.”

After all, he said to a kid that age $65 is a lot of money.

Cole said the expense for the hospital stay alone about $1,000 a day, and that does not include the treatment.

His parents didn’t know how many nights Bruce would have to be hospitalized and the cost was a big concern.

But, Bryson wasn’t done with his fundraising efforts.

“I was out there four days in a row,” he said. “A lot of people stopped. They were sad when I told them about Bruce.”

His efforts to save the dog attracted the attention of the local news media there, and when he made his transition to Taylor, that attention followed him.

A GoFundMe account was set up for the dog and the media attention began to take off.

Along with local media attention here, word of Bryson’s sacrifice has practically turned Cole into his grandson’s publicity agent.

He has fielded calls from CNN and USA Today, and corresponded with media outlets in China, England, Jordan, and also prepared him for an interview via Zoom with a news crew for CBS and one in Germany.

Through this media frenzy, nothing has shaken Bryson, but Cole, on the other hand, was caught off guard when he got a 15-minute warning that the mayor of Taylor, Rick Sollars, was coming by to shake the youngster’s hand.

He said it’s a good thing his wife keeps the yard nicely manicured and he had just enough time to spruce up.

The GoFundMe account had about $5,000 in it before the Washington Post got wind of the story.

After getting some recognition there the account grew to more than $20,000.

Bruce came through surgery with flying colors and required five days in the hospital.

With more than enough money to cover Bruce’s care, Cole said he suggested Bryson’s mother, who is his daughter, "spread the blessing to others."

That’s exactly what the family is doing.

The hospital bills for two other families at the same hospital where Bruce received medical care were paid and a check donation to the Taylor Animal Shelter is in the works.

Another fundraising event has been set up with Warpzone Comics, 20950 Grange Road, Riverview, for June 27.

Cole said he approached other comic stores and told Bryson’s story, but it wasn’t until he spoke with Warpzone that he was met with an excitement about partnering and helping Bryson advance his cause.

“Pokemon International presented Bryson with a box of cards, the kind you can’t get anywhere,” Cole said.

The grandfather said he is thrilled to see so many people interested in Bryson’s story because he believes it is what the country needs right now.

“We are starving for a feel-good story like this,” Cole said. “We need it so badly.”

He said as a parent and grandparent, this experience lets him know that he and his wife have “done something right.”

Bryson said he wants to thank everyone for stepping in and helping him save his dog.

“I’m sure Bruce is happy he got to survive,” he said.

This article originally ran on thenewsherald.com.

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