I have been in Nevada all week with my husband for K9 training for our patrol dog, Odin. After class I requested to go on a short drive to snap some pictures. In the process of checking out a long back road we ran into a local deputy. Being in a police vehicle ourselves, we did what fellow law enforcement brother and sisters do, we windowed up.
The deputy inquired as to where we were from. My husband advised him we were here with the K9 narcotic and tracking training that had been taking place all week. The deputy then said, “We have a lost three old boy. Would you two come help Search?”
Of course we agreed. We followed him to the boy’s residence on the outskirts of the small town of Spring Creek. I will never forget the people of that town. I’ve never witnessed anything like them before.
We joined a (low) estimated amount of volunteer searchers of three hundred community members. The roads lined with cars, trucks, and horse trailers in a short time. People brought their 4wheelers, 6 wheelers and horses and began scouring the hills and dirt roads. Families, young and old, formed strong lines, all abreast and began tromping through the sage brush. Grandma and grandpas, moms with five kids in tow, dads with babies strapped to their back, they all took to the land, peeking under bushes, in holes, walking dry creek beds.
Although growing more concerning with every second of the emerging darkness and plummeting temperatures, the air was filled with hope, determination, and unexpressable love for another human’s lost child. Most people I spoke to in passing didn’t even know the child’s name, but we all gathered together and spread out to find the lost lamb.
Darkness fell and flashlights came out. Then, above the gloom and pressing pressure of time, a cheer broke out a short distance from where I was poking through bushes. The sound of relief echoed over the dry land, most likely reaching the ears of the worried mother.
Our lamb was found. He was safe. Prayers of thanks went up from behind every bush within a quarter mile. Worry turned to celebration. Community became family.
It turns out, even though I didn’t know the names of the souls I was searching next to, in a place I had never been to before, they weren’t strangers. They were friends I had never met, joined by a common good to look out for and protect a member of our extended pack. I will never forget the warming experience of the Spring Creek Search and the great demonstration of community shown there.