A massive police search team had been sent out to find a boy that went missing in the woods for three days. They almost lost all the hope, but then one dog, known as Gandalf, stepped in.
The moon was hanging very low in the South Carolina sky as Misha Marshall was almost done loading her pickup truck. Then she led her dog Gandalf back to his cage. The time was morning on a Tuesday, 20th March. Misha’s Husband, named Chuck, came to see her off.
Chuck, himself is a retired firefighter and paramedic, he said he had seen much more surprising things in his career than a 12-year-old boy surviving three cold nights in the mountains, but he didn’t want his wife and dog to be discouraged.
Three days back, a 12-year-old boy scout Michael Auberry had gone missing from his troop’s campsite in Doughton Park, in the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina. A massive search operation was launched to find the boy, but they weren’t able to find him.
Misha is a full-time corporate tax manager, and her dog Gandalf had been trained with the South Carolina Search and Rescue Dog Association for a year. But he has never been on a real search operation. This was Misha’s and Gandalf’s first real search operation.
After leaving home, Misha met with her team of 6 other handles, and they all headed to the north. A sister team in North Carolina had been searching all night. Misha and her team would take over from them in the morning.
On the first day, all that rescue team could find was some spilled potato chips. The chips were found on the west of Micheal’s campsite along a fire road that went into the park. Tactical trackers team found footprints that led to another path, that’s a quarter-mile away from the campsite. It was a good trail, but the search team lost tracks at the creek. And for the next two days, the results were the same.
Misha and her team arrived around 7 a.m. on Tuesday. The area was full of media trucks and satellite dishes. There were official vehicles and a huge mobile command center.
The night team had given Misha and her team a clue, and they had found Michael’s shirt that hasn’t been worn or touched by anyone else. She let the Gandalf sniff the shirt. Head up and nose high, Gandalf started the trail, and the other team members followed him.
After searching for more than 1 hour and going nearly 6000 ft up, Gandalf and Misha finally saw a boy in a red jacket. Misha and her team started yelling, Micheal, is that you? Michael? Michael? The boy silently turned toward them and nodded. Gandalf, Misha, and her team were finally able to locate Michael. What the many rescue team groups weren’t able to do for three days. Misha and her dog did that, they found Micheal, in just a few hours.
Coming back to the base camp, Misha finally was able to call her Husband. I can’t tell you all right now, she told him. But Gandalf has just found that boy lost in the woods.
Yeah, right, Chuck said. And then he realized that she was serious. He said Well, I guess it’s the last time I’ll tell you and Gandalf what they can’t do…