Douglas Downs, 29, is a fireman and pastor of Gum Springs Baptist Church in Natchitoches, Louisiana. He's also the owner of Honey, a bloodhound famed among local hunters for his skill at sniffing out deer. But on the night of February 23, Honey found something more precious than a deer. He found three-year-old Eli Alcock, who has slipped through a hole in a fence and wandered about a mile through the woods of Sabine Parish. When the boy was confirmed missing, Downs was asked if Honey could find him. He wasn't sure, but agreed to try. Honey was not used to working with a big crowd of humans wandering through the woods yelling the boy's name. But Downs let Honey smell a jacket Eli had worn a few days earlier. Downs said, "I just started praying 'Dear Lord, give Honey the ability. Just let her work through you," and immediately Honey started tracking.
Courtesy of Douglas Downs
Instead of putting her nose to the ground, she smelled the wind as she zig-zagged through the woods. By now it was dark and getting windy. Many searchers had returned to the house, but Downs let Honey keep tracking. Following close behind his dog, Downs soon spotted Eli in a mud hole at the bottom of the hill. The boy was cold and scared but unharmed. Looking back, Downs believes "it was meant to be that way that night, and I really think that God wanted His power and presence to be seen, and it was. I'm just humbled to be part of it."