You can’t keep a good dog down

Community rallies to pay vet bill for beloved Betty, Tiffin Motorhomes’ mascot, after hit leaves her with injuries

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At far top, Betty Traveler was all smiles when she saw Gary Williams, her work partner, on her visit to Tiffin Motorhomes on Mon., Jan. 14. It was Betty’s first trip back to the plant after being treated for a disloated hip suffered when she was hit by an unknown vehicle. While Betty was being treated at Smith Animal Clinic, getting visits from her caretaker, David Grimes, above, and other friends also served to brighten her spirits. Photos courtesy of David Grimes

RED BAY | David Grimes knew something was wrong late on January 1 when Betty, a lab mix who has become known as the mascot of Tiffin Motorhomes, didn’t come back home as usual.

Now, Grimes knows something is right again after the community that has grown to love Betty chipped in to help handle the medical treatment she needed after she was injured.

Grimes became concerned late at night on January 1 after Betty, who usually makes a daily trek to Tiffin Motorhomes, did not come home. He initially thought she might have gone into hiding from fireworks, but that had never stopped her from returning. 

What Grimes discovered the next day was worse. At some point after she left home Betty was apparently hit by a vehicle, leaving her with a dislocated hip.

“She crawled to Tiffin Motorhomes where she knew she would get help,” said Grimes, who has been Betty’s caretaker since she showed up at his house nearly four years ago.

Betty was taken to veterinarian Lindsey Smith, who treated her for her injuries. After surgery, Betty was kept at Smith’s clinic for nearly a week before returning to Grimes’ home to continue her recovery. Grimes visited with Betty several times at the clinic, and she had lots of other friends from the factory who dropped in to see her as well. When Grimes went to pick her up, he was met with a big surprise.

“Well I’m sitting here trying to find the right words to say but I don’t know what to say,” Grimes wrote on Betty’s Facebook page, where she had almost 1,200 followers as of Jan. 15. “When I went to get Betty and take care of the bill all they said was paid in full, no balance. All I know to say is from the bottom of my heart thank all of you and God bless each of you for your donations toward Betty’s vet bill. I know this was at a time just after Christmas when there was so much more you could have used the money for. I’m sure there were some that wanted to help and couldn’t and I thank you for your thoughts and prayers toward this. I think I know Betty well enough to know if she could talk, she would say thanks to all her friends.”

On Monday, Jan. 14, both Betty and her co-workers at Tiffin Motorhomes received a welcome surprise. Grimes was able to take Betty for a visit. It was a treat for Betty who had to be kept indoors since her surgery as well as for the people who care for her at the plant.

“It’s been a great day for Betty and friends, it’s done Betty (as my mother used to say) a bushel of good to go see her friends at Tiffin Motorhomes. What a smile she brings to faces.” Grimes posted Monday.

Grimes said the events of the past two weeks have been beyond anything he could have imagined prior to Betty coming into his life.

“As I have said many times the story that started around May 2015 when all I was doing was feeding a starving animal (this) has been a journey,” Grimes said. “Never in my wildest imagination would I ever have dreamed this would be a story like this.”