Sunday, April 25, 2010

Dimmie - An Update

From what you read of Singaporeans, you wouldn't think they are very nice people. Perhaps that's why the term "ugly Singaporean" was coined. But throughout our venture at GentlePaws thus far, we have seen kindness we never thought still existed in this competitive, cynical and fast-paced world of today. It made us realise that there will be unkind people in every society no matter what country you are from or what ethnicity you belong to. But a few black sheep shouldn't represent the entire flock. There remain the kind ones as well. In fact, beneath the indifference people portray in day to day life, kindness burns bright, clear and unwavering.

We recently sent out a mass email informing people of Dimmie's situation. Dimmie is a dog with epilepsy and a suspected brain tumour. Dimmie isn't like other dogs, who are perfectly aware of what they are doing. Dimmie is different. She can sometimes mistake your arm for food and chomp down on it clumsily. Once, when our volunteer visited the shelter at night, Dimmie was found on her back, her eyes rolled backwards, her breaths coming in short, sharp gasps.

Dimmie originally had a home. But when his owner discovered his condition, Dimmie was sent to SPCA to be put down. The SPCA staff felt sorry for the beautiful dog before her and decided to give her a chance at life. They contacted one of our volunteers, who rescued Dimmie from the clutches of death. Because of her condition, we put Dimmie with a fosterer, who later became stricken with cancer. Dimmie then fell ill, stopped eating and had to be sent to the vet. She had to be hospitalised and chalked up $2,500 in vet fees. Because her fosterer can no longer cope, Dimmie is now placed at our shelter in a cubicle of our own. But come Monday, she has to go for a follow-up check up, which will incur money once again. This is the reality of the situation. Vet services are expensive but oh so necessary.

And so we appealed to everyone on our contact list, uncertain what kind of a response we would get. We weren't expecting much. These people owed us nothing. In fact, most of them already contributed in cash or in kind. It felt strange to approach them for help once again. We didn't want them to feel obliged or disillusioned, feeling like their help was never enough. At first, response was slow. But now it has picked up a little. We started getting positive replies from recipients of our mail and it was really a tremendous boost to us. We are still far from our target but we want to show our appreciation to all those who have replied us, acknowledged our mail and contributed from your pockets. Thanks for your leap of faith in us. Thanks for simply transferring the money to us, trusting that we would put it to good use. Thanks for helping out a golden retriever that you've never laid eyes on. An epilepsy patient wrote in to us donating $5 and telling us she believed that like her, Dimmie would soon recover. It was simple but sweet. Most importantly, such responses motivated us to go on trying.

We don't know if the publicity we garnered for our opening has died down or if anybody will still be reading this page. We just want to say thank you for responding and thank you for helping. We've had more volunteers come down lately and we want to say, please keep coming down. It's because of such regular volunteering that friendships are forged. The shelter will no longer become a foreign and strange place, but a warm and happy one.

So with a last thank you, I'll sign off until the next update. Please remember Dimmie and we hope the contributions will keep coming.

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