There’s a reason babysitting is so popular: It’s a lucrative market for teenagers who don’t want to spend their days drenched with sweat behind a McDonald’s counter. Also, is there an easier way to make money than by plopping some kids down in front of a video game for a few hours? We think not.
As any good babysitter will tell you, though, the job is a lot harder than it looks. Not only do you spend hours as a semi-professional kid wrangler, but since the job technically isn’t on payroll, there’s a chance you’ll be stiffed out of some well-earned cash. This is exactly what happened to one teenager after a grueling day of babysitting — but she wasn’t about to be cheated out of what she deserved.
Ah, babysitting: a teenager’s loophole to their parents’ nagging that they get an after school job. But as babysitter Kristin knows all too well, even the best gigs can end up being the stuff of nightmares.
Kristin was a well-known babysitter in her town, and she even had a website advertising her babysitting expertise. So when she was contacted by a mother she had never worked with before, she wasn’t too surprised.
Obviously, Kristin’s main motivation for babysitting was to make a little money. She had already proven herself to be a trusted babysitter in town, and she assumed that this babysitting job would be just like the others…
She very quickly learned that this was not the case, however, when the mother returned home at the end of the day. All told, Kristin had watched this woman’s two children for a whopping eight hours. Kristin watched as the mom pulled into the driveway…
But the next thing Kristin knew, she was being scooted out the door without so much as a nickel. Even at this point, though, Kristin kept a cool head. Maybe it was an oversight, she reasoned.
So she texted the mother directly. In her text, she thanked the mom for letting her take care of the kids before diving into her real question. “Do you mind if I swing by tomorrow at 2pm to collect the money?”
This was a totally reasonable question aimed at whom Kristin believed was a reasonable lady. In a matter of seconds, however, the babysitter realized just how incorrectly she had judged the mother of two.
“I wasn’t aware [that] payment was involved,” was the response Kristin received. Needless to say, she was confused. Babysitting is one of the most traditional and well-known jobs out there; how did this woman not know how it worked?
But Kristin soon found out the truth: It’s not that the woman didn’t know the etiquette. It’s that she chose to ignore it. “You got free ice cream and a day of fun,” the woman continued. “I’m sorry for the misinterpretation.” Doing the job, it seemed, was payment for doing the job.
The hard work Kristin put into the job certainly didn’t warrant a measly popsicle, so she shot back by reminding the mother that they had agreed — over text, no less — to a rate of $16/hour. Maybe the mother simply forgot?
But the mom wouldn’t budge. “Could you show me those texts?” she wrote, demanding screenshots. Now, if Kristin was one of those people who constantly deleted texts, she would have been backed into a corner…
Thankfully, Kristin wasn’t one of those people. In their initial text conversation, both parties were kind and respectful. The mom even told Kristin to “call or text if [she had] any questions.” But their attitudes weren’t the only thing proven by the screenshots.
In fact, the texts clearly show that it was the mom who brought up the $16/hour payment, even going so far as to ask Kristin if the rate “sounds fair.” What happened to the nice mom Kristin had texted mere days before?
Apparently, she’d gone the way of her own text messages — by which we mean, she totally vanished. “I delete my messages often,” the woman said, as if doing so cleared her of all financial responsibility. But Kristin wasn’t going to give up that easily.
“As much as I love your kids, I’m doing this for payment,” she said professionally. Kristin even brought the payment down to $100. After all, as a busy teenager, Kristin had better things to do than haggle with a stubborn mom.
But this act of charity didn’t sit well with the woman, as evidenced by the mother’s outrageous reply. “I am going to block you now — please do not contact me again,” she wrote. She had no idea just how determined Kristin was…
While she fought with the mom, Kristin had been texting her family with updates on the situation. Her brother knew that what was happening was unjust, so he turned to his most trusted source for advice.
He posted screenshots of Kristin’s conversation with the woman onto Reddit — and watched as the story went viral. Thousands of people commented with their own take on the situation, and it was clear whose side they were on.
The general consensus? That Small Claims Court was the perfect answer to Kristin’s problem. “Judge Judy would clap this lady,” one Redditor wrote. But before dragging a judge into the mix, level-headed Kristin wanted to try one more thing.
She reached out to the husband…only to be left unread. At this point, Kristin was at the end of her rope. She knew she had to try talking sense into this couple before bringing the matter to court.
So, she sent one more message to the parents. She threatened them with Small Claims Court — and wounded them with some scathing remarks. “As soon as you and your wife stop acting like children…we may be able to have a reasonable discussion.”
And just like that, Kristin was suddenly unblocked from the woman’s phone. The mother said she’d drop off the $128 later that day, and sure enough, Kristin’s brother updated Reddit with the triumphant exclamation, “$128 in hand. We resolved” it.
Reddit users recommended giving the couple a scathing review on Facebook, which Kristin agreed to do with delight. Not only did this scheming mom just lose an excellent sitter in Kristin, but she destroyed her chances of getting another babysitter in the future!
After the publicity, Kristin didn’t need to look hard for more work. People across the country wanted to hire her to watch their young ones. Because of prior experiences, Benjamin and Hope Jordan of South Carolina would’ve gladly shelled out $16/hour for her to watch their newborn, Finn.
See, along with Finn, Hope and Benjamin were raising a black Labrador Retriever and German Shepherd mix named Killian. The dog adored Finn, but it wasn’t until the Jordans had a bad experience with a babysitter that they truly recognized the bond between the two.
The problem started when the family packed their bags for Charleston, South Carolina, in 2012. In a new home, the couple naturally needed to find a babysitter to watch over Finn when they were at work or out together.
Benjamin Jordan / Facebook
Benjamin and Hope did a little research and finally landed on the perfect candidate to watch over their little boy: Alexis Khan. She “was a good fit at the time,” Benjamin said. On any other ordinary day, the story would have ended there.
After the background check came back clean, the Jordans began periodically leaving Finn and Killian with Alexis. Over time, Alexis impressed them with her babysitting skills. But then, the family noticed something strange…
Benjamin Jordan / Facebook
“About five months into her being our babysitter,” Benjamin said, “we started to notice that our dog was very protective of our son when she [Alexis] would come in the door.” Obviously, that didn’t add up.
In every other scenario, Killian was the quintessential good boy: calm, peaceful, and loving. He only barked when someone strange approached the front door. But Benjamin’s description of the pooch’s actions towards Alexis were frightening.
“He was very aggressive towards her,” Benjamin added. “A few times we actually had to physically restrain our dog from going towards her.” This was one of those moments where they would’ve loved to have known exactly what their dog was saying!
Benjamin Jordan / Facebook
Nonetheless, Benjamin and Hope could understand Killian’s message loud and clear: I don’t like this lady – and they needed to figure out why. Of course, they had a few theories…
Happy as they were with Alexis, she had made a few mistakes. Hope recalled one time when Alexis gave Finn adult medication for a toothache instead of the child-friendly, non-medicated tablets.
So, on September 12, 2012, just before leaving Finn with the babysitter, Benjamin and Hope conducted a little test to find out why Killian acted so aggressively towards Alexis—and it was genius.
To capture what she needed, Hope opened up a memo-recording app on her iPhone and placed the device under the couch. For seven-and-a-half hours, it recorded every sound that went on in the living room.
When Benjamin and Hope returned home from work later that day and sent Alexis on her way, they removed their iPhone from under the couch. Then, they played back the recording—and were horrified.
“I wanted to reach through the audio tape, go back in time and just grab him up,” Benjamin said of his son after listening to the recording. The tape “started with cussing,” he said. And it only got worse.
Benjamin continued to describe hearing Finn in the recording: “You hear slap noises and his crying changes from a distress cry to a pain cry.” At one point, he said you could hear the babysitter actually shaking Finn!
Obviously, Benjamin and Hope were shaken. “To know that for five months I had handed my child to a monster,” Benjamin said. What else had been going on while Finn’s parents were away?
Whatever had been going on, Killian saw all of it, and he’d done his best to let Benjamin and Hope know! “Had our dog not alerted us to the trouble, had my wife’s instincts not said, ‘We need to make something happen,’ Finn could have been killed,” Benjamin said.
A few weeks later, Charleston City Police finally arrested Alexis. She confessed to abusing little Finn and was sentenced to one to three years in prison. But to Benjamin and Hope, the real victory was in another part of Alexis’s sentence…
Benjamin Jordan / Facebook
Authorities placed Alexis on a child abuse registry, barring her from working with children ever again. “That is fantastic news to us,” Benjamin said. “To know that maybe Finn’s ordeal has possibly saved another child’s life in the future.”
Afterward, local news media labeled Killian a hero. The pup even made some celebrity appearances! Killian certainly deserved the praise after saving baby Finn, but he’s not the only one who needed recognition.
Klaus Jensen / Flickr
Meet Haus, a recently adopted two-year-old German shepherd who ended up being much more than just a companion to his new family on one fateful day…
When Adam and Donya DeLuca brought Haus home from a shelter in Tampa, Florida, he fit right in. “He just bonded with all of us so quickly, it was like he was always part of our home,” Donya recalled. He was the perfect family dog.
One day, seven-year-old Molly was gathering toys in the backyard with Haus by her side. Her grandmother watched from the doorway of the screened-in pool. That’s when she saw Haus act in a way that would forever change the family’s perception of him…
Haus was acting suspiciously, and it was terrifying. “He kept jumping back and then forward,” Donya demonstrated for WFLA. “And he did it three times.” Of course, Donya’s mother, watching from a distance, feared the worst. A young German shepherd, new to the family, moving aggressively around a little girl? That was a recipe for disaster.
The grandmother’s story, as relayed by Donya to various news outlets, was that she “didn’t even realize what he [Haus] was staring at—but then all of a sudden there was all of this blood” covering the dog. In a panic, the grandmother called Donya, who could hear Molly crying in the background. What happened? Did Haus viciously attack Molly?
The truth, however, was quite surprising. As they picked up toys on the far side of the yard, Molly and Haus had come face-to-face with a deadly Eastern diamondback rattlesnake. Coiled and angry, it struck at Molly—only to have Haus jump in the way instead. Tragically, his act of bravery came with an astronomical cost…
ltshears / Wikimedia
“He [had] instantly positioned himself between the snake and Molly,” Donya said. He could have run, but Haus’s protective instincts had him stand his ground, which allowed Molly to retreat to safety. With every bite, Haus suffered more and more. Afterward, he was a mess.
After the attack, the poor pup could barely walk. He limped, drooled, and his head hung down, unable to move. He struggled to breathe and his leg hemorrhaged blood. If a 68-pound German shepherd suffered in that way, can you imagine what those bites would have done to little Molly?
Donya LaDuca via ABC News
Donya rushed home and immediately loaded Haus into the family car and sped to a veterinarian emergency care facility. With snake venom in his system, the brave pooch didn’t have much time…
Donya LaDuca va ABC
“What [a rattlesnake bite] can do is a lot of bad things,” veterinarian Danielle Pollio said. “It can cause problems with clotting, so they can bleed into the wound uncontrollably.” The Eastern diamondback is the most venomous snake in all North America, and dogs who are bitten once have a mortality rate as high as 30 percent. Haus had been bitten three times.
Within minutes of the attack, Haus’s symptoms had already accelerated exponentially. When he reached the medical facilities, doctors gave him nine vials of antivenin. But they weren’t as effective as they needed to be to save the pooch’s life…
Instead of injecting Haus with individual vials, doctors set him up with an IV drip of antivenin and administered painkillers. He received antivenin four times every day for four straight days. Typical treatment might only see one to two doses. Making matters worse, saving Haus was creating another problem that the DeLuca family couldn’t ignore…
If Haus was going to live, he would need some major intensive care—and that lead to astronomical medical bills that the DeLucas simply couldn’t afford. How could they pay to keep their beloved dog—and their daughter’s hero—alive?
That’s when a woman named Cherissa Vandergriff, whose relation to the DeLucas was unclear, stepped in. She set up a GoFundMe page for the family as a way to crowdfund all of the necessary medical payments for Haus’s care. In the plea for assistance, Cherissa wrote, “The vet treatment has been extremely expensive…”
Cherissa continued: “He’s been given multiple vials of anti-venom. The vet bills are already at $10,000 and the treatment is not finished. His vitals are strong, his organs are functioning, and if they can afford enough anti-venom, he will recover with no ill-effects.” Would this be enough to save Haus?
Soon, donations were rolling in! In a matter of days, the family raised $51,329, far exceeding their $28,000 goal, and they had to actually shut down people’s ability to donate! Haus’s story had inspired nearly 2,000 people to contribute money!
Despite the pup’s severe wounds, doctors expected him to make a full recovery, which shocked Donya. “It’s semi-miraculous, his condition,” she said. “What keeps me going is how he still flicks his tail every time he sees me come in to his kennel, even though I know he’s hurting.” That’s a dog who loved his family!
In the end, Haus received some great news. “We hope that Haus will get to go home today,” said his veterinarian, Jennifer Holm, on the May 18, 2016, episode of Good Morning America. “We are doing a couple more checks on him early this afternoon, and fingers crossed, we hope that he will get to go home either today or tomorrow.”
When the LaDuca family adopted Haus, they likely expected they’d be gaining a best friend for the family. What they didn’t realize was that they’d be gaining a best friend who would save their children’s lives. Haus was a hero with four paws!
Donya LaDuca / ABC