NEDERLAND, Colo. -- The small town of Nederland is doing big things to help find a dog who went missing during last week’s wildfire.
Now that the Cold Springs Fire is out, Nederland is trying to get back to normal. It’s not easy to do that, though, while one of their own is still missing.
“We’re still looking for him,” Bretlyn Schmidtmann said.
They’re looking for Geno, the Schmidtmann’s 4-year-old Saint Bernard dog. He’s described as a floppy dog who likes to climb with his paws. He enjoys belly rubs and snacking on jerky.
“He means the world to us,” Schmidtmann said.
She and her husband Charlie are first responders in the Nederland area. Bretlyn Schmidtmann is an ER nurse in Boulder and a volunteer paramedic with the Nederland Fire Department. Charlie Schmidtmann has been a firefighter with Nederland Fire Department for 17 years.
Charlie Schmidtmann was one of the first three firefighters on scene when the Cold Springs Fire began. While he was saving other homes, his burned to the ground.
They lost almost everything in the fire. Their two dogs were home when it happened. Charlie Schmidtmann found their labrador named Clyde about a quarter mile away from the house. He has burns on his snout, but is OK. But Geno is still missing.
The Schmidtmanns have looked everywhere for Geno. They even searched the rubble and ashes where their home once stood.
“Awful and hopeful at the same time,” Bretlyn Schmidtmann said of searching for Geno’s remains. “We’re trying to confirm whether we should be looking.”
They haven’t found any clues about what happened to Geno, which still gives them something to hope for.
“What gives me the most hope is that we have so many people looking. Like everyone has really rallied around his case,” Charlie Schmidtmann said.
It seems everyone in Nederland is trying to find Geno. Two residents, who the Schmidtmanns say they have never even met, started a community-wide effort to bring him home.
They posted dozens of large, neon signs all over the Nederland area and in Boulder Canyon. They also set up a Facebook page where there is an interactive map to show where people have searched for Geno.
Some people have even reported seeing Geno. One woman who lives in Four Mile Canyon said a wet and muddy Saint Bernard matching Geno’s description came onto her property on Friday, but when she tried to check his tags he ran off.
“I’m kind of hopeful for the town, not just for us,” Bretlyn Schmidtmann said. “I think it would be a huge win for the community and a step toward healing after the fire.”