“She’d been missing for days. We checked all the animal shelters, we looked everywhere, but we couldn’t find her. She never wondered away from the farm so it was strange to think that she had left and not returned home. We were scared. We feared the worst. Maybe a snake bite? Maybe she was attacked by another animal? Maybe she was hurt!? I stepped outside the house feeling hopeless and took a quiet stroll on the farm. The night was cold and dark, and there was a light drizzle in the air.”

Lost and found

Tessa was part of the family, we’d had her for almost ten years! And though I didn’t want to give up, I felt I was starting too. Feeling very emotional I looked up to the sky. “God” I cried out, “where is she?.” Then a thought crossed my mind, call out to her one more time. “Tessa” I screamed with my hands cupped around my mouth. There was nothing… “Tessa” I frantically screamed again. This time I heard the faintest whimper – it was barely there. Hmm, what was that, I thought to myself. “Tessa,” I screamed again. And again a very faint whimper could be heard in the distance. I ran to the house to grab my brother and partner. They both came outside with me and listened as I called out to Tessa. When they heard the faint whimper they too agreed, it was possible, it could be her.

There was a walking track that ran along the border of the farm. The track was not directly accessible from our property – to get to it we had to climb a fence, jump over a small stream and then climb up a small hill. On the other side of the walking track was a creek. We walked about half a kilometer along the track, every so often calling out “Tessa, Tessa”. Each time we would hear a responding whimper. As we continued to walk the whimper got louder and louder until we could finally tell that she was nearby. Her cries were coming from near the creek. Then there was a shuffling sound, like she was trying to get through the reeds. After further exploring the area and still unable to see or reach her, we came to the conclusion that she was on the other side of the creek. She must have crossed when the water was low and then became trapped on the other side when the water rose. We realised to get across we were going to have to get back to the house, get in the car and drive across some roads to get to the other side. We ran back home, jumped into the car and set off for the other side of the creek.

We arrived on the other side. It was cold, pitch-black, wet and the ground was soft and mushy. My brother used his GPS and a light from his phone to guide us. We walked about half a kilometer until we neared the spot we had heard her cries from. Then, out of the dark, it was her, running towards us. Overcome with joy, we grabbed her and petted her. She was cold and wet and she looked tired and thin, but she was ok! We took her back to the car, wrapped her in towels, then took her home where we gave her water and food. We were all in dis-belief. We still couldn’t believe we had found her, just when we were all about to give up.

Don’t give up, hold onto hope!

Often in life when we are searching for something that we can not find or striving for something we cannot reach. It is completely normal and natural to feel hopeless and like we want to give up. Consciously though we have a choice – to hold on and to search a little more or reach a little harder. Hold on to that soft whisper in your heart because that thing that you are searching or striving for may be almost in your grasp!