*No doubt there is a lot of goodness in the world. Sometimes, we just have to dig for it.
And it can come at the most unexpected times, from the most unexpected situations, like over drinks, chicken wings and good old fashioned conversation.
Just ask Christina Summitt, who was at work tending bar at the Holiday Inn in Clinton, New Jersey. She sports a tattoo of a paw-print on her wrist, which gets her a lot of attention from animal lovers especially.
Summitt is an animal lover who also volunteers with a pit bull rescue group and spends time finding homes for sheltered animals. So it was no rarity when the couple entered, saw the tattoo, and they began a conversation from there.
But it is what happened as a result of that conversation that made Summitt’s night one she won’t soon forget.
When the man asked her if she had dogs of her own, Summitt told him that her “baby,” a Great Dane-black Labrador mix named Tucker, was at the veterinary hospital recuperating from emergency surgery he had hours earlier because he had swallowed a hard plastic ball.
Needless to say, her worry about him was obvious.
The man said something about surgery being expensive, but Summitt, who confided the estimate was around $2,700, told the couple she would do anything it takes for the dog that she had adopted in 2011. This woman works three jobs — one full-time as a chef at the hotel, another on Saturdays as a bartender, and yet another as a food prep worker two days a week at a deli in town. Her husband also works full-time. And they have three children.
The couple ordered drinks and dinner at the bar and when it was time to close out their $80 tab, the man filled out the receipt…
With a tip for $1,000.
“I went back over and said ‘Sir, I cannot accept this, what is this for, why would you do this?'” she said. He told her to put it toward Tucker’s medical costs.
“I just stood there in shock. I walked around and hugged this couple. They said, ‘We’ll be praying for Tucker.'”
Hotel manager Michelle Satanik told CNN she followed up with her comptroller and also tracked down the customer this week to verify that the gesture was legitimate.
The generous tipper insists on remaining anonymous.
“Apparently this man does this quite frequently. Just a really nice guy and humanitarian,” Satanik said. “I have never ever seen a $1,000 tip like that.”
Summitt says she’s since gotten messages of support from all over the world.
“I would also love nothing more than to publicly thank this couple in front of the world. I’ve never seen a random act give so many people so much hope,” she wrote.
Tucker is currently recovering at home.
Thanks to ABC News for information used in this story.