MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — This Thanksgiving is extra special for one Minnesota family, and the hundreds who rallied behind them.
Searchers found Ethan Haus and his dog, Remington, hours after they got lost in a cornfield near Clear Lake last month.
If Thanksgiving is as simple as its name, the Haus family has been celebrating it for almost six weeks straight.
“We’re so thankful for the friends,” mother Sheri Haus said. “We had the ones that covered my school the next day and the ones that were trying to keep you calm.”
“You almost have to thank every single person you see because there were so many darn people out here that it’s just overwhelming,” father Dan Haus said.
And yet, 6-year-old Ethan doesn’t seem fazed.
Six-hundred volunteers showed up when the sun set that October night, matching the population of their hometown. St. Cloud resident Steve Fines flew his infrared drone for four hours before spotting Ethan and his dog at 2 a.m., lost in a cornfield, but safe.
Sheri spent the day so worried she couldn’t leave the house. Dan couldn’t sit still.
“I was outside the whole time and I came in I think two times, just to check to see how things are going, any news and things like that,” Dan said.
The immediate reaction was joy, relief and gratitude. A month later, the Haus family has learned some feelings take reflection.
About their community.
“There’s so many more connections that we found,” Sheri said. “We didn’t know that so and so is so and so’s cousin that lives right next door to us, and, you know, people are just, you feel more connected with people that we meet.”
About their family.
“Just making sure that they were OK, making sure that it was nobody’s fault,” Dan said.
And slowly, they’re learning about a boy and his dog, and 10 whole hours that only they shared.
“We drive by a corn field and he tells us one more thing. Or we put on his ‘cornfield clothes,’ he calls them, and tells us one more thing about what happened,” Sheri said.
With the help of a therapist, one thing they know is everyone seems fine. Thanksgiving will be normal. Chasing meals with family, some football, plenty of food, and the boys’ favorite toys — including a new helicopter.
The Haus family says they may forgo Christmas presents this year. Instead, they would use that money to buy the sheriff’s office a drone.