Sam the wonder dog is about to fulfil his purpose.
Thanks to the Maitland community – including one extremely generous benefactor – Sam will board a Qantas flight to Darwin on Sunday to be united with Alex Butler, a little boy living with broad spectrum autism.
On Wednesday, the Mercury reported how the Maitland-based Assistance Dogs NSW could not afford the $1500 to fly Sam to be with Alex.
Since then, however, the organisation has experienced an inundation of donations.
“As soon as the story came out we started getting donations and $4500 came in almost straight away,” Sam’s trainer Carmel Kaczmar said.
Then, late Wednesday afternoon, someone came forward offering to pay for two trainers and Sam to fly to Darwin.
“A benefactor contacted us and has paid for the flights which would cost about $2500 and we are just so amazed,” Ms Kaczmar, of East Maitland, said.
“This is just wonderful news. We are shocked and thrilled all at once. This response has really brought us to our knees and the tears have flowed.
“The generosity of this community has astounded us beyond belief.”
Alex’s mother, Jo Butler, has echoed these heartfelt sentiments.
“This is absolutely amazing and we have been blown away at the generosity of these people,” Ms Butler said. “We can’t believe how fast this has all happened and we can’t wait for Sam to bless our son, but we are also really excited to see what Sam can help Alex achieve.”
Sam – the three-and-a-half-year-old groodle – was trained as a full service dog until he was attacked by two other dogs six months ago.
As a result, it was unsure whether Sam would be able to fulfil his duties. But Sam surpassed all expectations.
The surplus $4500 will now be used for Sam’s veterinary bills, food and grooming needs.
“This will take a tremendous burden off the family. I can’t wait to get there and see the family’s faces. It’s almost like Sam knows, he’s so calm,” Ms Kaczmar said.
EXCITING TIMES: Sam and his trainer Carmel Kaczmar.
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