A Mount Maunganui man who hatched a sweet plan to raise $10,000 for life-altering surgery for his ailing pooch is closing in on his target thanks to support from the community.
Earlier this week, the Bay of Plenty Times spoke to Hayden Walker, who had been selling honey to raise money for an operation for his beloved 6-year-old Staffordshire bull terrier, Boi.
Boi was diagnosed with a severe spinal condition that left him in chronic pain. Walker was given an ultimatum a month ago to either put his beloved friend down or fork out the hefty sum for the operation.
He chose the second option and connected with a Gisborne honey-maker to raise the funds.
Walker began setting up a stall by Mount Maunganui College during weekends to sell the honey, as well as taking online orders.
He was selling his tubs for $15 for 500 grams and $25 for 1kg.
After this week's article, messages and donations flooded in with people offering to buy honey for up to $100 a tub.
In Walker's words, things went "crazy".
He has received hundreds of messages of support and his honey orders spiked. He has even had to open a Paypal account to take donations from places as far away as the United States.
Just last night, Walker was up late packaging more than 50 orders of honey.
"I am just so so thankful," he said.
Walker had managed to raise $6500 before the story appeared; however, after the influx of donations, he believes he will be close to his nearly $10,000 goal.
Walker said he would find out the donation total next week, with the vet working hard tallying the new funds.
His honey stocks were getting low, with only 26 tubs left, and he was trying to get a few more boxes, he said.
"I had people coming to me asking to message them if my final balance did not reach my target, and they would possibly pay the rest."
The hashtag Team Boi was being used across Facebook and Walker's Facebook page Honey to fund Boi's Surgery had garnered another 300 likes.
People had even offered to help fund Boi's aftercare, including painkillers and equipment.
"I am just so fortunate . . . I was ready to sell my vehicle and some of my assets to pay the way."
People had asked to buy tubs for $100 a pop, with one Auckland man buying six containers for $50 each to show his support, he said.
By the time he has sold out, Walker said he would have sold half a tonne of honey.