Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Season of love

Thank you. Xie xie. Terima kasih. Nandri. Arigatou. Merci. Grazie.

Going round the world and back saying thank you might not be enough to express our heartfelt gratitude for all the support we received this long Hari Raya weekend.

Over the weekend, we held a flea market to raise funds to cover the expenses spent on treating our four Parvo puppies and their mother, Daphne. We incurred a total of $8728.60 on hospitalization and full treatment for each of the four affected puppies as well as consultation and oral medication for their mommy.

Because you cared, you came and you bought, we managed to make enough sales to cover all that we spent at the vet.

The flea market sounds like a simple event. The concept is easy enough. We gather things, we sell things. But our flea market would never have seen the light of day without people contributing the wares for sale, without people patronizing our booth and reaching into their pockets generously, without our regular volunteers silently going about the usual shelter chores while the rest of us manned the stall.

For a small, contained and nothing-special shelter like ours, we felt especially blessed this weekend. We have a whole long list of people we need to thank and we are certainly going to bide our time doing so! Please take a deep breath and bear with us. 

What is a flea market without the goods? We would like to thank...

Iris for contributing a ton of the cutest stuffed toys;

Rusliana for giving us an assortment of items from Starbucks tumblers to stuffed angry birds to other bags and purses;

Angela from Beads of Love for working through the night to make over 42 pairs of earrings for us;

Rowena from The Soft Touch for the authentic handmade owl and monster pillows that were snapped up within seconds;

Lynn for her gorgeous handmade quilts that were also a hit with the crowd; 

Alvin for his contribution of handphone charger holders and a collection of clothes;

Doreen from dearjojo for the whimsical iPhone covers and K-pop posters; 

Priscilla for the handy recyclable tote bags, facial masks and a carton of bottled mineral water;

Karen for the Japanese brand doggie poo bags which remain very popular with our adopters;

SC and family for the durable metal doggie cages;

Annmarie from The Barkery for 8 packs of very yummy dog cookies;

Katherine for purchasing our dog, Dillon's photograph, from the exhibition organized by Three Legs Good and kindly gifting it to us to on-sell;

Sam for the wonderful cakes for our dogs;

Yulin for always helping us out one way or another, from placing ads in the papers to purchasing puppy supplies; 

The kind anoynmous donor of a bunch of good quality leashes; and finally

The little girl who approached our booth and shyly retrieved from her bag a bunch of friendship bracelets she made herself for us to sell. We wish we got your name. 

And then, there are the volunteers themselves who came together to do their part for the dogs they have come to know and love... We see you guys often. We slave away together cleaning the compound, feeding, walking and showering the dogs. But hey, that doesn't mean that thanks are not in order. We would like to say a warm mushy thank you to...

Adelene for laboring over her oven, churning out tray after tray of yummy doggie cookies and doing it with such good spirit;

Adeline for providing the delightful illustrations to the dog cookie packaging and for putting her pet portrait services for hire;

Meiying for her bottles of intricately folded shiny stars;

Jasmine for her adorable handmade octopuses/takos;

Esther and Gordon for their bright happy-looking handmade pouches;

Ruth for her simple but pretty handmade cloth coasters; 

Cindy for her contribution of brand new leashes for sale; 

Denise for her purchase of cold drinks for us to sell; 

Xiang Qian and Joey for manufacturing the badges, badge by painful badge; 

Agnes for sponsoring the cost of producing the badges; and not least

The rest of the gang for helping out both at the stall and the shelter, allowing our flea market days to run like clockwork. 

Our volunteers are a talented and resourceful bunch. But I've come to realize it is not so much the talent, but the sincerity and warmth they set about in contributing what they can with the skills that they have that make us feel so utterly loved. 

We've been around for a couple of years now. We've got volunteers of the present and also volunteers from the past. This flea market brought back some of our former volunteers who might not have the time to volunteer on a regular basis but who continue to care about the ongoings of the shelter. We were especially touched they made the effort to come down to visit us once more. Here's a shout out to Weiren and Christine, Dennis and family, Anthony, Kelvin, Angie, Nicole and Teresa for gracing us with their presence at the flea market.  

And then, there are our wonderful adopters who brought our former charges back to the shelter for a visit. We were so excited to see those familiar doggie faces again. Seeing them look so happy, healthy and at home with their respective families made our day complete. Those in attendance over the weekend were Pip, Sage, Queenie, Yanyan, Lady, Diya, Sparkles, Jayz and our darling Dada

Springer Spaniel Pip is no longer excitable and unsettled as he once was. His new family has instilled in him the stability and discipline that he thrives on.

Lady was looking her usual dapper self on Saturday - calm, comfortable and so very beautiful, with her shiny black coat and almond shaped eyes.

Pretty girl Sage also came along for a visit. She could never eat enough to put on weight at the shelter, but look at her now and see how she glows!

JayZ, one of our four Parvo puppies, dropped by with his foster family. His fosterers, Russ and Liz, inform us that he is now a remarkable five kilos! We are thankful he is in good hands but just so you know, we're still on the lookout for a permanent home for the little chap.

Everybody loves Dada. Look at the blind little teddy he adopted at our flea market. How can anyone not love a dog like that?

Since Dada is such an angel, we appointed him guardian of all the homeless toys nobody wanted to buy...

As the curtains fall on our flea market, we have yet more people we need to thank. Suat, Qiuting, Sheron, Amy, Qianyi, Mark, Stanley, Jacqueline, Huiling, Bryan, May, Kelvin, Andre and family, Gurmit and family, Mei and family... Thank you for your generous monetary contributions. Your gestures were silent and fuss-free but every bit helped us reach our target.

I don't think it is possible for us to tick off a list the name of every person that helped contribute to our Parvo Fund. Florence reminds me that I am bound to miss a handful or two of important contributors and I reckon she is right.

There were people who took home a small token or two from our stall but stuffed into our money box way more money than the mementos were valued. There were others who snuck money contributions into the box or handed it along to a friend to pass to us without drawing any attention to themselves. If any one of you is reading this with dawning recognition, then one of those kindhearted souls has got to be you. 

To all those whom we failed to mention, we want you to know that we are grateful from the very bottom of our hearts.

Finally, we would like to thank each and everyone of you who travelled the distance to appear at the flea market. Because really, what's a flea market without a crowd? We've organised flea markets where we had to coax people to drop by. Been there, done that... We know just how awful that feels. This time, however, you guys brought the noise and the life to our little party and you made all the difference.

You made us learn that our bowl was never empty. It was always brimming with love from people who care. 

It's not quite December, but it feels like the season of love. Thank you one and all for letting Christmas come early at Gentle Paws.

This is Wanying, writing on behalf of Florence, captain of our flea market team as well as Wee, Choo, Feng and our Parvo Mummy Daphne. Thank you once again and have a wonderful rest of the week.

1 comment:

  1. glad to hear that things turned out well =)

    and thank you for giving the dogs a chance to feel the warmth of a home


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