2008-06-14 / Editorials & Letters

'There are still a lot of amazingly good people…'


In a day and age where you turn any news program on the television, or pick up any newspaper, to see/hear/read the stories of crime, hate, abuse, and evil-doing of the populations across the nations, it is refreshing to hear an uplifting story about two small communities and the measures they went to bring a little lost dog back to her home. So I thought I might share my story with you.

It starts on Friday, May 30 at 9 a.m.... nothing unusual at first...until a 15-pound, spooked Italian (miniature) Greyhound, Sophie, decides she doesn't want to visit Dr. Poorman and PetPlex Animal Hospital in Buckeye Lake for her annual examination. As the door swings open, she jerks her head backwards and completely out of the collar her leash is attached to. In a state of panic, she then makes a very quick get-away down a busy Ohio 79. This is where the day turns both terrifying and extraordinary.

Complete strangers pull their cars aside and attempt to catch the freaked-out little dog. Buckeye Lake Police Chief Ron Small sees the commotion and joins in the chase as well. And as it is common knowledge that a police chief certainly has better things to do with his time, he spends at least the next 1-2 hours tracking this dog with me, and the next several days checking in the vet's officeto see if she was found. And Petplex (which is like extended family anyway) spends the next two hours babysitting my other two dogs, whom had appointments with Sophie, AND my 3 1/2-year toddler - coloring with her and letting her play with the resident cat. How many people outside of Buckeye Lake can say they are comfortable with leaving such precious cargo with their vet??

The kindness doesn't end there. Sophie somehow crossed I-70 unscathed, and made her way into Hebron . She remained missing for the next 4 1/2 days. As if it is not touching enough for family and friends to rally around us on a full-force search...it is the kindness of complete strangers that is the overwhelming heart of this story.

From random phone calls of "Sophiesightings," to allowing free reign on private property to comb the area, everyone in Hebron and Buckeye Lake was willing to lend a hand. With the blessings of the internet, local shelters and radio stations were alerted. News drifted to Italian Greyhound rescue shelter and "chat" web sights, which prompted a Saturday morning phone call from the Stumps in Lancaster ..."you don't know us, but we want to drive up to Hebron and help you findyour dog." A beautiful Saturday afternoon, and they spent it talking to the residents and businesses about Sophie while helping distribute fliers!

No sightings for two days. Discouragement and sadness settle in. And then, Tuesday, June 3 brought many early phone calls and sightings. Hebron 's 'Hometown Deli' and Hebon Police OfficerShanaberg and Lieutenant Brooks saw her within minutes of each other. With deli meats and running shoes in tow, they made it their mission that this was the day to recover Sophie (no matter how long it took). My husband and friends made it to the same area and surrounded her. She was frightened, hungry and finally able to be calmed and recovered into my husband's arms. And boy did Hometown Deli turkey taste good!

And so we come full circle. Petplex took her in immediately to examine her and report a full recovery to be imminent. Tears of joy not only from Sophie's family, but amazingly by many once-strangers that had spent the previous fivedays praying for a safe return home to little lost Sophie.

I can't tell you how many people have heard this story the past week and have commented what a wonderful community I am part of and even some have mentioned they would like to live in such a place.

So I want your readers to know when they open your paper this week that there are still a lot of amazingly good people out in this world, and there are happy endings. And I want them to know that our family has grown with the addition of the communities and businesses of Buckeye Lake and Hebron as well as their compassionate law enforcers, both mentioned and unsung. We could never thank you enough!

Jolie Lawrence Thornville

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