Essay wins $10K grant for the Maui Humane Society

Story about a dog adopted from shelter

Josephine Tempongko of Maui submitted a story about her dog, Dottie, in the Petco Foundation’s Holiday Wishes contest in an effort to win a grant for the Maui Humane Society. Dottie was adopted from MHS. Her story won and MHS was named the winner of a $10,000 grant from the Petco Foundation.

MHS was presented with the $10,000 grant on Dec. 5. Tempongko and her pup, Dottie, received a shopping spree from Petco in Kahului.

Tempongko’s story told of the complications that arose after the birth of her son, Wally. The newborn, accompanied by Tempongko’s husband, was airlifted to Honolulu, which was better equipped to deal with his life-threatening bacterial meningitis. Josephine, who suffered from delivery complications of her own, was left on Maui to worry endlessly as she tried to recover. The turning point was when her neighbor brought her beloved dog, Dottie, to visit in the hospital.

“I don’t know if I fully realized just how important Dottie was to me until the moment I saw her running toward my wheelchair, her whole body shaking with excitement,” said Temponkgo. “I cannot describe the joy and relief I felt. I sobbed while she licked my tears away. She healed me in a way no hospital ever could. Being able to hold her again gave me strength and comfort and my condition started to improve.”

Soon Josephine was reunited with her newborn son and today the family is healthy and happy, with Dottie by their side.