Family Dog Keeps Missing Child Safe Until Rescuers Find Them

A three-year-old dog named Cooper is getting some extra belly rubs today after helping protect a missing child.

Carson Urness, 3, was playing with Cooper on his family's farm in Cooperstown, North Dakota. Around 7:30 p.m. Carson's mom Courtney Urness realized she hadn't heard any noises coming from where her child was playing.

Silence can be terrifying when you're a parent.

Sure enough, after a search of property, the boy and the dog were nowhere to be found. Urness immediately called police for help. A search party of more than 200 people came to help her find the boy. Via Valley News Live:

Authorities arrived on scene and started to search on foot picking up where the family left off and with the use of ATV's and riders on horseback, started to expand the search around the farmstead. Within minutes of the call going out, more ATV's, Horses and Volunteers were pouring in. As the search continued, the North Dakota Highway Patrol was requested to assist and they brought in a Bloodhound Search Dog and the Highway Patrol Airplane was on site doing grid patterns using its "FLIR" device in an attempt to locate the child and dog. Search efforts continued on for approximately 5-6 hours with the aircraft on site flying for 4 hours.

As the threat of rain became a major concern around 2:00 am, the decision was made by the team leaders to start sending the foot walkers home before the rain started to increase. It was decided after a discussion with the ATV riders and family to check a few more areas.

Just as they were about to call off the search, one volunteer spotted Cooper, who stood up as an ATV approached over the hill.

The boy and dog had wandered off about a mile from home. During the entire time they were missing, Cooper never left the boy. Carson kept warm and dry underneath his dog:

Carson had torn jeans, a ripped jacket and muddy shoes and socks. Miraculously, though, he went unscathed from the whole ordeal. A doctor told his family he just had cold feet, thanks to his buddy who kept him warm.

It's not the first time we've seen a dog stay close to someone in a dangerous situation. I'm going to give my dog an extra big smooch, even though I'm pretty sure if I wandered off too far from the home where her food bowl is, she would drag me back by my hair to make sure she didn't miss dinner. (Yeah, you don't mess with Nelly's food time.)

Image via WDAY.