A dog rescue centre trustee from Warwick has braved the shave to help a seriously ill puppy that was abandoned in a laundry detergent box.
Mother-of-three Trisha Shaw is undergoing chemotherapy after a post-surgery pathology report suggested the cancer may have entered her blood stream – meaning she is losing her hair and is vulnerable to infection.
Trisha, who is a trustee for Pawprints Dog Rescue, a Rugby-based charity which helps abandoned dogs, was ‘heartbroken’ when an eight-week-old puppy, Julius, was brought in seriously ill with open sores and no fur after being found abandoned.
She said: “I know that most people shave their heads for charity because they want to, as a gesture of solidarity with someone close to them.
“That makes my fundraiser a bit different as Julius is obviously a dog, not a person.
“But Julius and I have something in common that bonds us – like Julius has, I’m going to lose my hair.”
Trisha, who has been a volunteer at the dog rescue for three years, spoke of her frustration as her vulnerability to infection meant she could not hold Julius.
She said: “Not being able to hold him was very frustrating, my instant reaction is always to put them in my arms to reassure them.”
Explaining how Julius was abandoned, Trisha said a man carrying a laundry detergent box approached a woman in the street and said: ‘You look like a dog lady, do you want this?’
The woman, not knowing Julius was in the box, asked the man to leave the container on her daughter’s doorstep – Julius was then discovered inside the box and the dog warden was called.
Trisha decided to have her hair cut yesterday evening (Thursday) at Experience Hair Design on Regent Street in Rugby.
She said: “I chose Experience Hair Design as the owner is a big supporter of Pawprints.
“She has been very kind to me throughout my illness and agreed to stay open later so I could have my hair cut without anyone else there.
“I’m absolutely overwhelmed by the generosity of those that have donated and really moved by the support that I’ve received, through the just giving page, social media and personally.
“Emma at Experience Hair Design was fantastic and, with the help of Anita and my family, the experience was one that we all laughed through and I personally will look back on and feel very positive about.
“My thanks go out to everyone that has helped to raise these vital funds for Pawprints and I’m thrilled to have received photo’s of Julius, yesterday afternoon, showing that his condition is improving already.
“Anyone wanting further information on breast cancer and hot to spot it should go to www.breastcancercare.org.uk.”
Trisha said volunteering with Pawprints keeps her mind away from her illness and gives her strength.
She said she will continue volunteering through her illness, and hopes she will have more time to spend helping dogs when her chemotherapy finishes in November.
Trisha started her JustGiving page on July 30 and has now raised more than £2,000.
To make a donation to the fundraising page go to: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/trisha-shaw