Vail Daily letter: Kindness in Lake Creek
Sunday, April 17, I was hiking with my dog, Cowboy (a 9-month-old golden retriever), and my dear friend in West Lake Creek. After an unfortunate series of events involving a skier on the trail, Cowboy became spooked and took off bolting toward the trailhead. Immediately following after him, my friend, the skier and I spent the next several hours searching the West Lake Creek area for Cowboy. My world was turning upside down as the realization was hitting me that my best friend, Cowboy, was lost. No longer was this search a hide-and-seek situation, but my puppy was lost and not coming when we were snowshoeing, hiking and driving yelling his name to come home.
What happened next was the start of a remarkable act of kindness — the Lake Creek community saw my struggle and my sadness and joined forces to help me find Cowboy. They notified neighbors, hiked in the cold calling his name and even turned on their headlamps to continue searching through the night. Even though Cowboy was not found that night, the Lake Creek community’s passion only got larger and stronger. I was receiving late night phone calls full of hope and inspiration. These beautiful people uplifted me, and I was confident that Cowboy would be found. Early the next morning after another unsuccessful hike and search for Cowboy, popular local Mark Ruark contacted all of his connections in the Lake Creek area.
Twenty-three hours after Cowboy ran and disappeared from the trail, a phone call was made between Lake Creek residents that Cowboy was spotted near the Pilgrim Downs entrance. My father and I arrived there fast and full of hope, and Cowboy was found. This is a true story of people helping people, and I cannot be more thankful to the residents of Lake Creek, everyone who helped share the message about Cowboy, and this amazing community where we live. I feel so thankful and lucky to be surrounded by such caring, kind and beautiful people. Thank you to those individuals who took the time and energy to help find Cowboy — it is important to reflect upon the goodness of people. These folks didn’t know my dog or me, but my cause became their cause. A sincere sense of togetherness; a feeling of human concern for one another was apparent and encouraging. Thank you all bringing my best friend back to his warm home.