I am happy to report that the Extreme Sleepover was a smashing success and I have reached my fundraising goal of $5000….
…..and then some! Donations are still coming in, but as of this evening our fundraising total is $9,855. We were so close to our $5000 goal yesterday, and then I got a phone call offering a $5000 donation, to which I responded in an oh so elegant manner; “holy crap!” followed by many “thank yous”.
I am overwhelmed by the support that this fundraiser has received! It started off as a silly idea in my mind and grew into this wonderful experience! Every single one of you who donated, I cannot thank you enough. Every bit made such a difference. When I was in the bank dumping a donated jar of change into the coin counter, I watched the total climb with a smile, each cent getting us closer to having a Dog Park.
The dream of an Off Leash Dog Park in Meadow Lake is close to becoming a reality. With the Extreme Sleepover, plus donations received during Jesse’s Anniversary day on Center Street, our total is just over $10,000! We’re 2/3 of the way there and we couldn’t have done it without the generosity of our dedicated supporters!
I have learned a lot from this experience. I was given the opportunity to see another side of the shelter that no one has ever seen before. I say goodnight to the animals after an evening shift when I turn out the lights, and good morning to them when I come in for a morning shift (and sometimes they get the pleasure of me singing “good morning, good MORning, it’s great to stay up late, good morning, good morning to YOU!”) but the night life in between goodnight and good morning was always a mystery to me. I was also able to spend some quality time with the animals and get to know them better. It may have been a little hairy, a little messy, not so peaceful, not so quiet, and a little flea infested, but I loved every minute of my sleepover.
I know how hard our volunteers work to make sure our shelter animals are happy and comfortable, but I had a greater appreciation for the little things after spending 12 nights at the shelter. No dog has to sleep on the floor because of Kuranda beds. No cat is without a soft bed. A radio softly playing and the night lights throughout the building provided a sense of comfort. Even the blankets and pillows I used during my stay were all donated to the shelter. A lot of love goes into this shelter, and it shows.
Every one of the animals in the shelter has a history: Whether they were given up due to allergies, abandoned, left tied to a chain and ignored, or found living at a dump, they all have a story to tell. Some people don’t want to adopt a shelter animal because of their “baggage”, but I have learned that animals are so resilient, and at the end of the day they just want to be loved. And don’t worry about baggage, I carry that for them! A little piece of every animals story has been left with me.
During my sleepover I was able to experience what some of the animals would be like as pets, and I was able to give them a little preview of what it would be like to be in a home; sprawled out on a future owners bed, hogging the blankets, attacking wiggling toes, giving lots of sloppy kisses, loud content purrs, and most important of all, being loved. We have a shelter full of amazing animals, and like I always say, there is a forever home out there for every one of them, their future owners just haven’t found them yet.
Last night as I nestled down into my bed after 12 nights away from home, with my dogs and cats clinging to me like I had been gone for years, I was happy, but part of me was thinking of the animals I left behind in the shelter. I was sad for a moment, but then reminded myself; they are warm, they are safe, they are happy, and they are loved by our devoted volunteers.
…and I can always see them in the morning.
If you’d like to donate to the Off Leash Dog Park Fund, OR to donate to the Meadow Lake & District Humane Society to help us help the animals in our care, here’s how!
Donate by Mail Box 944 Meadow Lake, SK S9X 1Y7