To the Editors:
An amazing thing happened here in Wilton last week.
On Monday, Nov. 5, our dog Ginny was frightened, broke out of her collar and escaped from her dog sitter. We had just arrived in the Bahamas when we received the news.
By the time we got back to town on Tuesday night, the Wilton community had mobilized. Posters were up, fliers were distributed, and the word was spread on social media. Our lost dog posts on Facebook were shared and reposted over 500 times.
Family, friends, neighbors and complete strangers helped us search and sent us prayers and messages of support. No one asked whether we voted for Bob or Ned or Will or Toni. They didn’t care whether we supported the Blue Zone project or backed the track. All anyone cared about was finding our lost little girl. We were given love and support without reservation from the residents of this fine community.
I grew up in Wilton and have lived here most of my adult life. Many complain about the changing character of the town, property taxes, declining home values, or the lack of services in Wilton that some nearby towns have. We question why we continue to live here after our children have graduated from the school system.
I now remember why. This community supported us and cried with us through five horrific days and nights of worry. The value of that may be intangible, but it is also immeasurable.
By the time Ginny was found on Saturday morning, she was no longer just our dog, she had become Wilton’s dog. Cries of joy and sighs of relief could be heard from one end of town to the other.
So, the next time you are angry with “the other side” over local, state or national politics, remember the little dog that brought our town together as one and taught us kindness and compassion are not red or blue, conservative or liberal. Ginny has taught us that we can work together and achieve happy endings.
Our special thanks go out to Chris from Animal Control, the Wilton PD, CT Dog Gone Recovery and Kelly, the dog tracker. To all of the residents of this town — from the woman who offered me her coat while we were out searching, to the young couple who caught Ginny on surveillance video and gave us reason to hope, to the lovely lady who welcomed Ginny into her home when she finally emerged — thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Bob, Gail, Alison and Virginia (Ginny) Hiestand
Wilton, Nov. 11