By Christopher Gooding
SPRINGHILL - If it takes a village to raise a child then it takes a town to find the pet dog.
This was the little known benefit of living in a small town Rhonda Canfield and her family discovered this month after their two golden retrievers, Emma and Jackson, went on the lam for four days.
The story began after Emma and Jackson slyly found a way to leave the Canfield home on Morris Street. The family looked all day and rearranged their schedule to find the pair, but without any luck. Canfield put her plight on her Facebook status and in short order support and a group was created to keep people posted on the progress of the search. By the time the dogs were discovered the Facebook group, Bring Home Emma and Jackson, had grown to over 750 members from Springhill and around the world.
"I started getting calls right away. Someone thought they had seen them at Needs," Canfield said. "I was excited. We searched along the connector and then it started to snow and I got really worried."
As the inclement weather rolled in, Canfield used Facebook once again to caution people to stop searching and prevent accidents. And as the skies cleared the search was on again and more calls had Canfield zeroing in on Emma and Jackson.
"Most calls were coming in from Schieffer's Ultramar to Little Forks. People coming back and forth from Amherst were keeping a watch. We even tracked them all the way to Little Forks near the bridge."
Emma and Jackson, in some ways, are polar opposites of each other: one rambunctious and ready to play, the other more timid and guarded. But they're a pair joined at the hip and their great adventure proved it.
"Emma was found first. It was like she was always in the area near Schieffer's but [Jackson] seemed to be wide open."
It had taken four days for the pair to finally come home and Canfield's own sense of home was firmly rooted here in Springhill.
"One of the things I like about here is the community support," Canfield, who moved to Springhill from Pugwash, said. "If there's a hockey game everyone is there. If there is an event everyone is there. I couldn't believe the community support we had. People were looking. People were calling."
Canfield extended her thanks to the community and all those who helped and offered support, both young and old, near and far.
"The community was genuinely concerned and wanted to get Emma and Jackson back," Canfield said. "Just a big 'thank you' to everyone."
By Christopher Gooding