A family dog in North Dakota protected a toddler for seven hours as family members, neighbors and authorities searched high and low for him.
The faithful golden retriever-German shepherd mix named Cooper followed 3-year-old Carson Urness when he went missing from his Cooperstown farm at around 7:30 p.m.
In all, about 200 people aided in a search for the boy. Seven hours after the hunt began, Cooper was found guarding Carson, who was napping underneath him in a field
“ATVs, horses, and more footwalkers showed up,” Sheriff Robert Hook told Valleys News Live. “Even the neighbors, business owners and bankers. They just came out and thought they needed to help.”
They combed 2,000 acres of land before the pair was found a mile from home at around 2 a.m. on Tuesday.
"As the night went on, there got to be a little more moisture in the air and at about 2:00 in the morning the rain was coming down and we were at the point to send the footwalkers home. There was nothing more for them to do," Hook said.
A volunteer road up one last hill and shined his headlights. Cooper “barely stood up just to let him know he was there.”
“The child was laying underneath the dog, he thought he was probably sleeping,” Hook said of the volunteer.
Sent to the hospital as a precaution, a doctor said Carson is in good health and only had cold feet.
"If they would have called it off and couldn't find him last night," said his mother Courtney Cooper said. "Cooper would have at least kept him warm."