By Connie Fused
Stump Staff Dog Petting Consultant
In the early morning of March 16, Chestertown resident Eddie Berkowitz was found on the campus of Washington College after being missing for over a week. The 61-year-old man was reported missing after he left his home to take his dog for a walk and never came back.
“When he said that he was going through the campus I got so worried,” his wife, Susan Berkowitz explained, “I told him to be careful, I told him. Because I just knew it’d be so easy for him to get lost in there. I’m so relieved to have my husband safe at home again.”
Public Safety found the man in the middle of the college baseball field starving, dehydrated, and missing one of his shoes. His faithful dog, Tigger was the reason that Berkowitz was found at all. Public Safety Officer Bridget Badge gave some details of what occurred: “The dog came bounding toward us as fast as it could and started carrying on, barking up a storm. We tried to get a look at his collar, but whenever we got close he would run away before coming back and barking some more. It was strange, but then we decided to follow the dog. And it ended up leading us to Mr. Berkowitz in the field.”
“He’s a smart pup,” Berkowitz said proudly. “I knew he’d come through for me.”
Public Safety Officers asked how he had gotten on the field, but Berkowitz said that he did not know. He had started on the clear brick pathway, but after making a wrong turn he soon became disoriented among the buildings, trees, and paved parking lots. Unable to find his way back to the main road, Berkowitz stumbled through the campus, surviving on natural plants and snacks careless students may have left outside. It is a wonder that the man survived as long as he did.
“I’m guessing the students here must get some sort of special training to navigate this place, ‘cuz it’s a giant maze,” Berkowitz said.
This is not the first time a non-member of the college has gotten horribly lost while on campus. Another incident occured last semester when a mother and son fell too far behind their group during a campus tour. With no one to guide them, the pair wandered the campus, searching desperately for the Casey Academic Center. The frazzled mother claimed that they were lost for hours, completely cut off from anyone who could help them.
People both on and off campus have made suggestions to help stop these occurrences from happening again—perhaps providing maps to newcomers or stationing officers in neon uniforms to direct people.
However, the general consensus is that there is only one way to effectively prevent people from losing their way on campus:
Washington College needs more signs.
Milton Hedgewater, the Head of Finance at the college, spoke about the sign problem here at the college and why it has yet to be adequately addressed.
“We simply do not have the funds for more signs just yet, but we will in the future. Soon we will have resources to put up 401 more signs on campus.”
Will that be enough? Only time will tell. Until then, students and locals alike are advised to remain vigilant and travel in large groups to prevent individual disappearances.