Lost for 7 hours outside at night during a thunderstorm, 3-year-old Carson Urness survived the ordeal thanks to the warmth provided by his family dog, Cooper.
An inseparable duo, Carson and Cooper set off into the woods early Monday night during playtime. The motivation for their late night trek is believed to have started with his father, who rode out of sight on his tractor, Carson following not far behind. Luckily, Cooper abandoned his training to not leave the yard and followed after Carson into the fields, keeping him safe and warm throughout their trials.
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Carson’s mother noticed he was missing when she called him in for dinner, but he was nowhere to be found. After calling 911, the Urness’ 10-acre farm was quickly swarming with over 200 volunteers and search dogs — some on horseback, ATV, and even one in a plane.
The search lasted until 2 a.m., when a lucky firefighter happened upon Carson around a mile outside their house, lying face down in the dirt with Cooper laying on top of him. “Carson was in tall grass but when they shone lights down to sweep it, the dog stuck its head out,” said Urness.
Throughout their plight, Cooper refused to leave Carson, instinctively laying atop the shivering child to shield him from the rain and the near freezing temperatures. Also, if not for Cooper, it is unlikely that the search team would have ever found Carson, since it was the dog’s head they spotted above the tall grass. Without Cooper, Carson may not have made it through the night.
“He saved him. If they would have called it off and couldn’t find him last night, Cooper would have at least kept him warm,” laments Urness.
Luckily, no injuries were sustained during Carson’s time away from home, minus his cold feet – the only body part Cooper had not managed to sit on.
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ABC News – Lost 3-Year-Old Boy Found with Family Dog Protecting Him
Huffpost – Loyal Dog Protects Missing Boy by Refusing to Leave His Side
CBS Minnesota – Dog Protects Missing Toddler From Thunderstorm
The Daily Mail – Lost North Dakota Toddler Cuddled with Farm Dog to Stay Warm Overnight
News Channel 4 – ‘He Saved Him,’ Family Dog Credited with Protecting Missing Child During Storm