Because that’s what good people do

Published 3:41 pm Tuesday, September 27, 2016

To the Editor:

My little 10-pound dog, Leo, was lost for seven days in Washington, and I want to thank the people of this city for helping me get him back.
Wednesday evening, Sept. 14, Leo became separated from his sitter. I searched that night until about 11 p.m. then drove back home to New Bern. The feeling of losing a family member was crushing. Sleep was not easy.
Next morning I got up at 6 a.m. and returned to Washington to resume looking. A good friend made a flyer and started getting the word out to please help find Leo.
Everywhere I went in Washington, people were friendly, helpful and willing to help. Convenience store operators, media, law enforcement, animal control workers and veterinarians were all extremely helpful and supportive.
When I talked with people in subdivisions, they were sympathetic and caring. One woman had seen a bear the night before. That didn’t help my fears, but it did underline my resolve to find my buddy. People pointed out tips that might help, and folks were willing to take my phone number to relay information.
After five long days of searching, I found some good people at Cratches Mini Mart and along Wharton Station Road who had not only seen Leo but had noticed a pattern. They took my phone number and generously called me to relay information as I continued to rack up 1,000 miles driving around searching.
David and some of the workers at Mid Atlantic Tool and Die and Alan at Carolina Coastal Bedliners called me with sightings, but I went home empty handed again that night. A hard thing to do.
Starting at 6 a.m. on day seven, I searched but found no clues. Then, after a big rain storm at 3 p.m. Alan called and said “he’s walking down Wharton Station Road, come quick.”
Being skittish, Leo would not come to anyone who tried to approach, and Alan knew it, so he stayed back but kept a watchful eye while I rushed to the scene.
In an amazing moment of reunion, Leo was licking my face and squealing with relief. He had lost his harness and leash and was as muddy and hungry as a dog can be, but he was safe.
Leo made it.
We are back at home now and will always be grateful for our happy ending, thanks to the caring people of Washington who did not have to help, but did because that’s what good people do.
And for one little dog, and me, that makes an enormous difference.
Thank you.

Kyle Whitford
New Bern