I just joined my very first fundraising walking event! Please help support me in my support of Pawmetto Lifeline (PL) for all they do to help homeless animals across the midlands. In case you don't know, PL is a no-kill shelter who rescues cats and dogs who are on "the list" at the 2 local county shelters. They are an organization run by a small dedicated staff, countless volunteers and foster families. Take the time to read below and learn why I am so passionate and what exactly your support would mean (apologies in advance--it is long).
How/why did I get involved? As some of you may know, I had a beloved dog, Onyx, who I "inherited" from my sister when Onyx was 8. She came to me after my apartment had been broken into and gave me an immediate sense of safety. Onyx was my baby girl and sadly, couldn’t come to SC with me as I started a new life journey in pursuit of my passion--obtaining a Ph.D. She lived a wonderful 17.5 years. I miss her every day.
For those who aren't aware, getting a PhD is tough (gross understatement). It's lonely, depressing most of the time from constant "constructive criticism" (all part of the learning process), having no money (which is especially difficult after you used to have an income), and constitutes a lot of hard work and personal growth and development. I sacrificed a lot by way of leaving a job I loved, a town I loved, and moving somewhere that I was all on my own. I also grew a lot and discovered that I can have more than one passion in life.
After 3.5 years of being pet-less since I didn't have the time nor money to get a new pet, I decided to make my happiness a priority. And among that was getting back to volunteering--something I hadn't done since high school. And since I was still a broke college student, I decided to volunteer with Pawmetto so I could get some of my happiness from being with pets while also giving back.
I started volunteering in April 2017. It changed my life. Volunteering at the shelter wasn't always easy. It's not easy to walk the dogs on canine row and see those who don't get adopted week after week. And it's very exciting to see when those dogs do finally get adopted.
It is also very difficult to spend time cuddling puppies to help socialize them without adopting EVERY SINGLE ONE. And while I restrained myself for some time (remember, monetary restrictions), I eventually cuddled a littler of 4--the "W" litter. In that littler were 2 girls and 2 boys. 3 of the pups were, like normal pups, whiny, scratchy, nibblers whose bites sometimes hurt (puppy teeth are sharp). But one puppy, Wake, was different. He had softer, fluffier fur than his littermates. He gave kisses all the time. He tried to protect me from his nibbling siblings. And after a week of cuddling, after they went to foster homes, I went home very sad. And I knew, this dog was going to rescue me. So, I put aside my pride of getting through school on my own and told my mom, “I may have to borrow money from you, but I NEED this pup.” It was no longer a want. I adopted him with plans to pick him up upon his return from foster. But he got sick with Parvo—the one word no puppy parent wants to hear. It is due to the extreme care of his foster parent and the staff at PL that I was able to bring my puppy home. They saved his life (in case you don’t know, Parvo has a very high mortality rate). And Wake became Romeo, because I almost didn’t get to bring him home and because he was such a little love-bug (and still is). Romeo saved my life and Pawmetto saved his (among countless others).
I eventually moved on to other volunteer activities--like entering Care-A-Van data. What's Care-A-Van? It's a mobile vet that goes to more rural parts of SC to deliver the necessary basic care to pets at a low cost. Without Care-a-Van, I believe many Midlands pets wouldn't get the basic veterinary care they desperately need. (PL in a separate program also provides food to people who can’t afford the pets they already have to help keep these pets out of the shelters and in their existing homes.)
I have spent some time fostering pets as well. I had the chance to foster 2 HEART pets. HEART Helps Every Animal Reach Tomorrow by working with other no-kill shelters along the east coast who commit to getting the pets adopted. Why are the pets transported? Well, for one, there is not enough space and more importantly, some animals have a better chance of being adopted at the partner rescues than they do in SC. Both of my fosters were adopted very quickly and it's a special feeling to know the training and love you provided helped them find the furever home they deserve. I also fostered a hospice pet once. What's that? That is an animal who has a terminal illness. Remember, Pawmetto is no-kill so they believe in treating the illnesses that are treatable. They provided me tremendous support and medications for the little pom pup named Napoleon. He was such a joy for the time I had him. Because of the foster program, he crossed the rainbow bridge in a loving environment instead of in a cage or kennel.
So, for all Pawmetto does for all the animals (what I have discussed here is not exhaustive), for all those in and out of SC who support the mission of organizations like PL, for all those animal lovers out there (especially those of you who didn’t adopt a rescue ;-) #adoptdontshop), please help support me in support of Pawmetto as I take my first walk in support of a cause and organization for which I am so passionate. Any amount, no matter how small, will be a huge help! Thanks!