By Joanna Bastian

Some very special Carlton people selflessly spent Mother’s Day searching for an elderly family pet that had gone missing while her owners were vacationing in the Methow Valley.

Molly, a 15-year-old German shepherd, was visiting the valley last week with her people, David and Denise Pollock from British Columbia. Just north of Twisp, the couple pulled out alongside the road for a walk along the riverbank when Molly disappeared into the swift and frigid currents of the Methow River. Her owners spent many frantic hours searching for her, but by the next day she was still missing.

Before heading back home to Victoria, B.C., David and Denise reached out to Methow Valley residents for help. Laura Houser called the owners to offer words of comfort and gather more detailed information to help in the search, including a picture of Molly. Judy Camp organized a search party and Brandon Pasley, owner of Globetrouters Guide Service in Winthrop, joined the group with his boat.

After studying some maps of the river, the group — which included Judy, Brandon, Laura Howson, Rhonda Bradeen and Thome George — set out to find Molly.

And here is where Molly’s tale diverges from many other tales of lost dogs and becomes a story of hope. Right now, there are several abandoned dogs in this valley that wonderful people are caring for until their owners appear. These foster people have taken the dogs into their own homes and posted flyers all over the valley hoping to reunite the dogs with their owners. But no one ever calls. These living dogs have no one looking for them. No one is wondering if they are safe.

But Molly’s owners reached out to the community. Compassionate, determined people like Judy, Brandon, Laura, Rhonda and Thome responded.

Molly fell into the river on Thursday, and most likely succumbed to the cold rapids within minutes. Everyone in the search party on Sunday morning knew the grim reality that Molly, an arthritic elderly girl, could not have survived a fall into the river. There are many people in this world that would accept this as the end of the story and would go about their lives without pause.

But Molly had a small army looking out for her. The small group set out Sunday morning for the dangerous task of searching the banks of the Methow River for Molly’s remains in the high and fast flow of spring runoff. They split up, some canvassing the neighborhood, others searching the small islands along the river.

Thome was the first to spot Molly’s body on a sandbar. Brandon donned full wading gear and retrieved her remains, maneuvering through the raging currents to bring her ashore. Sadly, Molly did not survive her fall into the river. But her cautionary tale serves two purposes. One, the river is dangerously cold and fast; keep pets safely away from the banks. And two, it is heartwarming to know that if pets need a hand in the valley, there are warm-hearted animal lovers to look out for our furry friends.