A Commendable Act
Our firm was recently engaged to liquidate, via foreclosure, some properties owned by a local developer. This developer was a victim of the real estate boom, like all of us.
Instead of chasing rates he stuck with his local bank, and that is why I thought it important to print a story that is good.
The auction format was to start with some investment condos and end with the developer’s personal residence. For purpose here I will say “a handful of property”. The auction went well on each parcel. Then came time to drive to his house and sell it.
As our rig turned the corner we were faced with a large crowd of bidders. In one corner of the property was the owner and his wife, her arm around his, and weeping. After a few minutes of soul searching, I knew that I was 5 minutes away from selling this family’s home from under them. The banker and his vice president ordered me to a quick meeting off to the side where he said something that I won’t forget soon. In the most professional manner, he said Doug, “we have done enough today to this family, I am not going to do this to this family in front of the whole town.”
Let me tell you ladies and gentlemen, that in this day and age, there are many bankers that would have pulled that trigger. I have never been so proud to represent a bank through such an ordeal. Since I work for many of the local banks I find it important not to mention their name, but Wayne and Reid, you are top shelf people.
Nine days ago we completed the adoption of a 3-year-old Chow mix named Ginger from the Worcester Humane Society. Our Samoyed of nearly 15 years had just passed away in December and it was time for a new family member. We were fortunate to get Ginger in our family and recognized we’d have our hands full with her adapting to our home. Ginger was a physically abused puppy who had been kicked and in the past three years with the Humane Society has shown to be very selective with trusting people. This beautiful animal doesn’t necessarily act like the typical happy-go-lucky, loyal and appreciative dog that you might expect, and often cowers in a corner of our house, waiting for the cover of darkness to move around.
This past Saturday I was a proud parent taking Ginger to her first checkup under my watch. When I arrived at VCA Delmarva Animal Hospital in Berlin, I lost control of the leash on Ginger and she raced across the street and into the woods of Berlin. I had a feeling this was going to be a challenge due to the dog’s nature and the fact she’d only known our family for a week. I had no idea.
I called the Humane Society and asked for Kelly, who had perhaps the best relationship with Ginger. Kelly promptly arrives to help search with another volunteer, Ken, and they helped my wife, son and I give chase. By car, on foot, we curry combed the area in and around those woods. Ginger escaped at 10 a.m. By 4 p.m. with no sightings in the past four hours, despair had set in and collectively we were beginning to give up hope.
After taking my son home who had not eaten for seven hours, I went back to the sight of her disappearance at 6 p.m. Ken had called me on the cell phone and a neighbor had told him that Ginger was sighted around 4:30 or 5 p.m. To my absolute surprise, there is Ken, who had been searching with me now for about seven hours himself, and Bob and Vonnie from the Humane Society. At 7 p.m., Ken calls me on my cell phone and tells me that they have Ginger sighted in the woods near where she went missing. I arrived and could not even see or hear them until I got 50 yards into the brush. The angels from the Worcester County Humane Society ended up capturing this scared animal and returning her to our family. We are forever in debt to Kenille Davies, Kelly, Bob, Vonnie, and the iron man Ken who helped rescue our new family member.
The thanks don’t end there, however. Also dropping everything they had to do on a Saturday and helping us search were the folks from VCA Delmarva Animal Hospital, especially Brandon who drove me in his 4WD along the power lines that flanked the woods where we searched. The staff of the Berlin Animal Hospital across the street also jumped in, as did John Barrett and the team at Barrett Chevrolet, the Berlin Police Department, Donna Adams and family, multiple neighbors in the area, and a young lady who saw Ginger run across the road, and even a mother and daughter who were looking at dogs at the Humane Society when my emergency call came in. We also received help from Susan and Wayne Beal of ARF, the Animal Resource Foundation in Chester, Md., who were visiting us to help us adopt a little brother for Ginger named Malcolm.
All of these people surrendered hours of their day and braved thorns and ticks to search for a dog they may have just glimpsed for a family they didn’t know. Without the collective help of all of these kind souls, I have no doubt the outcome of the story would have not been so positive. Ginger is now home with her new little brother, getting more comfortable in the company of our family.
The whole experience taught me an obvious lesson regarding pet care, but even more made us so very thankful to live where we live. The caring nature of the people who live here is beyond belief. If you’re looking to adopt a pet, I urge you to consider the Worcester Humane Society, or any of the shelters such as ARF who put their love into rescuing and placing unwanted and abandoned dogs and cats.
Karl, Lora and Jack Walinskas