Lost & found

The ups and downs of a newsroom’s week are the rollercoaster of the events it reports.

And just like a rollercoaster, there are lulls that our readers would probably cast as boring. I suppose the coverage of budget season would cruise into that territory.

But then there are weeks like the past one.

You know the heart-stopping dive a coaster takes once it passes a crest and drops to the very bottom of its path?

That was this week.

There was the morning a passerby witnessed a car travelling into Moorland Pond, marking the end of a woman’s life.

Want words to adequately describe the tragedy?

I don’t have them.

A talented young woman, an athlete from another country, was murdered doing what she loved: playing golf.

How messed up is that?

I can’t express it.

Across the world, and our country, loss persists daily and funnels down into a news stream that is our job.

Do I wish we could fix this?

You will never know how badly I wish I could.

But just as there are lows, so also are there highs.

Today, someone left me a message suggesting we photograph a cute mailbox she saw, one that is in the shape of a yellow M&M. She thought we could stand to publish some good news.

I agree.

So that is how we land on the story of Murphy, that impish little dog that had much of Fort Dodge on the lookout since he slid out of Ben and Tabitha Acree’s home and went on what turned out to be a prolonged adventure.

If you have pets, as I do, and have ever lost one, even for a few hours, you know the desperation such an adventure can cause. I don’t live in Fort Dodge, but I was sharing the posts of hand-drawn maps showing the latest Murphy sighting.

Boston Gordon, a senior at Fort Dodge Senior High, is the hero of that story.

“I called my mom at Duncombe and said there was an emergency,” he said. “I told my mom, ‘you know that dog Tabitha was looking for? I have him.'”

Gordon’s mom teaches at Duncombe Elementary School.

Tabitha Acree, principal of Riverside Early Learning Center, was at her office.

“I got a call and then when I got off the phone Boston was carrying him into my office, and we just couldn’t believe it,” she said. “All of us were crying and the teachers came in crying — happiness.”

She said the search efforts from everyone involved is a testament to Fort Dodge.

“It made me realize that people cannot say anything negative about Fort Dodge because that Iowa nice really exists here,” she said. “This is why we moved here to raise our family when we did.”

Murphy was just happy to be back at home.

“The first thing he did when we got back was grab his ball and play in the backyard,” Tabitha Acree said. “I thought are you kidding? You already did all that running.”

Thank you, Boston Gordon.

And, vicariously, thank you Murphy. Your “tail” has a happy ending. In a week of downward rides, we all needed a put-a-smile-on-your-face story.

They are the crests of the rollercoaster, and, unfortunately, the heights from which we fall.

Jane Curtis is editor of The Messenger.

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