Forum, Nov. 23: Support Dog Rescue Organization

Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Support Dog Rescue Organization

The extensive media coverage (national, state and local) that several puppies rescued from the streets of Rincon, Puerto Rico were infected with leptospirosis, is doing a disservice to a wonderful organization, Surfin’ Sato. According to health officials in both New Hampshire and Vermont, the risk to humans over this incident is minuscule. A post on Monday’s Norwich listserv stated, “Beware of the Puerto Rican puppies. Just got notified by vet ... that some have leptospirosis which is contagious and can be passed to humans. Somewhat surprised dogs weren’t screened before being brought here.”

This post reminds me of someone else’s tweets; instead of recognizing the very good work being done, it seeks to cast blame and doubt.

My wife and I adopted a rescue dog from Surfin’ Sato a month ago. We have had many dogs in our lives and Stella, who is from Rincon, ranks among the best. She is healthy, energetic and wonderful with people. Stella comes to work with me where students and staff constantly want to spend time with her. Stella is but one of many examples of the outstanding efforts and success of Surfin’ Sato.

Aimee Goodwin, who leads Surfin’ Sato, said it best as reported in the Valley News, “This week’s local leptospirosis scare should illustrate to Upper Valley residents the hardship that the U.S. Territory has been contending with since September. The message that I would like for people to consider is that this is just a little snapshot of what people’s lives are like every day in Puerto Rico right now.”

I hope Upper Valley residents continue to support Surfin’ Sato and the organization’s beneficial work.

Amos Kornfeld


Blood Drive Honors a Loved One

I would like to take this opportunity to invite all blood donors to Tracy Hall in Norwich on Thursday, Dec. 7 from noon to 6 p.m. The blood drive is part of the 19 Days of Norwich and dedicated to Daniel Somerville. Daniel was 14 when he was diagnosed with cancer. He received many blood transfusions, which gave him and our family more time and improved the quality of his life. Dan lost his battle on Dec. 2, 1993 at the age of 15.

Since 1996, this drive has collected over 4,000 pints of life-saving blood. We truly appreciate all the donors who have participated over the past 21 years. Many of you have given at most of the drives. Donors can make appointments by logging onto redcrossblood.org or by calling 1-800-733-2767.

Thank you for your support in honoring the Norwich community and Daniel’s memory at this time. We are thankful that Dan’s life continues to make a difference even though he is in heaven.

Rose M. Smith


Book Angels in Norwich

In 1997, during our third holiday season, we begin what has become known as the Book Angel Program. The agencies we have partnered with have changed little over the years, and children’s need for books has not diminished. Over those 20 years, our generous community has donated more than 8,000 books!

The giant wreath in our stairway is hung with paper angels. Each angel represents a child and has a note with age and interest. There are several ways to participate in the Book Angels: You can choose a paper angel and a book; you can choose a book and we will find a matching angel; you can donate a dollar amount and we will make sure it goes to an appropriate book for one of the children.

This year the Angels will be gathering books for Vermont’s Child and Family Services, The Family Place, The Haven and Children’s Literacy Foundation.

A few dedicated volunteers work with these groups to gather and code the lists so they are anonymous and deliver the books to the agencies.

The Norwich Bookstore donates at least one book for every 10 purchased and we promise that no angel will leave empty-handed. We take care of gift-wrapping.

Most of the books are needed in late November and early December so the care providers can distribute them in time for the holidays. Others are collected through mid-December for ongoing programs.

We thank you for your generosity in support of this local tradition.

Liza Bernard

Norwich Bookstore