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COLLEGE STATION - Parents should never have to bury a child.
Unfortunately, a Central Texas has to do that this week after their three-year-old was swept away in a flooded creek, but that closure for the parents would not have been possible without a group of dogs from College Station and Hearne.
When people go missing, every second counts. The hope is always to find them alive, but sometimes, the search becomes a recovery.
Such was the case Tuesday when a three-year-old girl was swept away by flood waters near San Marcos.
Nationally certified dogs from College Station and Hearne helped find her body.
Ben Alexander and his partner Jennifer Blanton are volunteers with the K9 division of Texas Search and Rescue.
"It's rewarding working with the dogs, it's rewarding helping the families, it's not always a good situation, but at least, even in this case, we were able to give the family something where they could move forward," Alexander said.
Being able to provide that much needed closure is just one of the many important reasons they donate their time and money to train their border collies Wink, Caile, and Twist to bring the missing home.
"It takes a special kind of dog, though, it's not just any old dog can do it. Every dog smells, but a lot of dogs don't have the potential to do what these dogs can do," Blanton said.
"They have something we call "drive" which basically is a want for usually some kind of a reward object like a tug toy or a tennis ball," Alexander said.
When the dogs are working, it's a big game to them. But their victories are more precious than just a win on a scoreboard.