Evening add-on: Voting is now closed, thank you all so much! The contest results will be published on January 16th, but as of lunchtime with an hour or two to go we had 1812 votes and were in first place, so it's clear to me that we won! WOOOHOOOO! Hip hip HOORAY! Thank you all so much!
Thanks to you I do believe we've won. Thank you all so much! I learned a lot from this contest:
Christmas Spirit- I think with the help of Facebook I must have reached out to 50 years worth of friends and family not only across the planet, but also across time. In retrospect it feels as though I sent out a spark of light, and you all lit up in response like a giant Christmas garland twinkling with beautiful holy light, across our earth, sparkling with a message of love and friendship, support and charity. Awesome, thank you angels!
Serendipity - I didn't plan to enter the contest, it just caught my notice via a photographer friend. I had just taken the Christmas pics of Claire and Nobu, and it seemed like a good way to raise awareness of English setters and how cute they are as pets, not just hunting companions. I didn't even know there was a $1000 prize, and then when I realized, it seemed such a great way for Claire to pay back some of the love and help she got when she was rescued. Entering was about raising setter awareness, winning is about saving setter lives :)
Vizualizing - I couldn't understand why other photos kept getting a flurry of votes every day...but wouldn't give up, visualizing a great wave of love and reaching out to more and more friends, f2f and online: even the dentist's assistant agreed to help! I thought it was one person, one vote. Then the competition organizers contacted me with a complaint that because of the huge number of votes rolling in I might be cheating with fake accounts or something, and I got into quite dark space...I suggested they make friends with me on FB to see that I was legit. Best friends reminded me to hold my head high, and as I looked at other contest photos I found a tweet calling for a vote from their supporters every day. I realized then that twitter at least could vote every day. And by now I know that with Facebook too you can vote every day! In effect if you understand how it works (and this knowledge was not clearly available in the rules), with a small but dedicated group of friends, you could plan to win by voting consistently every day for 20 days. In spite of the handicap of not understanding til rather late how click contests work, I kept seeing the light at work, and believing in the good of this cause, and we drew into the lead and stayed there, which shows that with a bit of positive visualizing, trust, determination and all of you, miracles happen!
Enjoy - I have really enjoyed discovering imikimi software and making these voting pictures, and learning about other rescue organizations in the US, making new friends and revisiting old ones. Keeping up the momentum was getting rather tiresome, and it really is so all consuming, it will be hard to wind down, but the human contact, the warmth and the fun of the new software have helped me through and made it enjoyable. Plus, I haven't been too well, so energetically romping around with the dogs wasn't really an option this Christmas. All in all, you have made it a very rewarding time, thank you again. I look forward to posting pictures of me handing over a stash of cash to Gundog Rescue CACI. A final happy Christmas, and a very good New Year to you all.