by Ashley Smith
This week I had planned to team up with Chip Collins in a meeting-of-the-minds in order to write a (very compelling) blog post about the homes and lifestyle found behind the luxury gates of Wexford Plantation on Hilton Head Island. However, that will have to wait.
I’ve been strangely drawn to the five chapter story of ‘Finn – the Lost Dog’ in the Long Read section of the Island Packet. I say strangely drawn because, while I consider myself a reader, I suffer from a common malady of being too busy to sit and read an entire article, often opting to skim or read parts of paragraphs. I know, shameful.
The first chapter of this story was published on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016. If you haven’t picked up the local paper since then, I encourage you to go online and catch up on Chapters 1 through 3 here.
From day one, I was fascinated with an overwhelming sense of hope, and faith in humanity, to learn about Operation New Hope. This is a partnership between the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office and Savannah Humane Society, which pairs troubled dogs with low-risk inmates in order to help reverse some of the adverse effects of having been mistreated, abused or abandoned. This is brilliant! Are you too asking yourself, “How can I get involved? Where can I send a check?” Here’s where you can learn more and donate.
More than that though, this story is resonating on a deeper level with me. I don’t know if it’s because I’m a newer dog mom to a five month old Yellow Labrador, also named Finn. Or if it’s the way in which the community came together despite differences in political beliefs, race, religion, age, social status, etc. Seemingly hundreds of volunteers, and likely thousands on social media, were searching and trying to get Finn home safe and sound. It boggles my mind that I missed this while it was going on…
On December 29, Finn was startled and ran off, while his owner, Mrs. Staie, was enjoying lunch with a friend in Old Town Bluffton. He was then spotted all over Bluffton throughout the first week of January. Some time went by without any Finn sightings…and then 2 weeks later, Finn was spotted in the natural, mostly untouched land of Spring Island…having swam there?
Today I arrived at my office and threw open the paper. Chapter three was waiting…where had this wild adventure taken Finn, the Staie’s and their loyal squad of volunteers? As one can expect, after 3 weeks people were growing tired, resources were running out and hope was running low. We’re left with some morsel of promise in the name of Jennifer Smith. Who is this Jennifer and will she be able to bring Finn home? You better believe I’ll be flipping my newspaper open first thing Saturday and Sunday to find out!