Letter: ‘I want to extend my hand in fellowship’  

Hello Rappahannock County! I’d like to introduce myself and my family. I am Billy Gorodner and my family includes Precious, Rubi, Soup, Bliss, Betsy, Paulie, Tony, Happy (all cocker spaniels, dachshunds or Japanese chins) and Robin, my cat.

I retired from my business and will be relocating to Rappahannock County. Imagine my surprise to meet my soon-to-be neighbors in the letters section of the Rappahannock News and through a petition to the board of supervisors.

While first impressions are always important, I am going to reset that adage and look forward to actually meeting my new neighbors rather than draw my conclusions from what little they have revealed to me.

I recently purchased 25 acres on South Poes Road. I am in the process of having a small home built for me and my pets. Let me clear up misunderstandings my neighbors may have. I am not, at this time (nor at any time I can foresee) opening a commercial kennel. It is true that I submitted an application for a kennel to the county. However, upon study, I determined that Rappahannock, unlike other counties, does not require a kennel license (or variance, as the case may be) for my private dogs, and I withdrew the application some time ago.

For the past 33 years I have operated a commercial kennel in Loudoun County. Those days are past. (By the way, in all those years I never received one complaint about my operation or my dogs.) My friends and I have been fortunate in that through hard work and a certain amount of luck some of my dogs and their offspring have been successful in the show circuit and once my dear friend was the handler of a winner at the Westminster Dog Show. That was a hoot and surely one of my favorite memories. I smiled when I read the letter in the paper that alluded to champagne and satin ribbons. I believe, if I remember correctly, we celebrated with water for the dogs and Diet Coke for the humans.

I certainly don’t want the property values in Rappahannock County to decline and hope that my efforts for building a home would not cause such. When I looked at my property before I purchased it, I discovered that there was indeed a community cemetery on my 25 acres. While I have privately conveyed, to anyone that asked, my commitment to allow access to the cemetery to anyone that would like to visit, I now do so publicly.

And really, I want to extend my hand in fellowship to my neighbors and invite them to come visit me and my family. I think once they get to know us, they can retract their ill-informed efforts and reset their impression of someone they haven’t met. After all, that is what neighbors do as they cultivate their community.

William “Billy” Gorodner

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