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Missing Three-Year-Old Protected By Family Dog

May 8, 2014, 2:57 PM

Missing Three-Year-Old Protected By Family Dog
COOPERSTOWN, ND -

Here is a story from our sister station KXJB.

A three-year-old boy is home safe after a seven-hour search and a happy ending. When rescuers had nearly given up, the family pet held on.

Carson Urness and his golden retriever/german shepherd mix went missing from the Cooperstown, North Dakota family farm around 7:30 Monday night. Between a three-year-old boy and a three-year-old dog, Carson's mom, Courtney, rarely hears silence on the farm. But, it was a silence so awful she had to call for help.

Courtney says about 200 people showed up from surrounding areas more than 20 miles away to help with the search for Carson and Cooper, the dog.

"ATVs, horses, and more footwalkers showed up," Sheriff Robert Hook said of the volunteers from nearby law enforcement. "Even the neighbors, business owners and bankers. They just came out and thought they needed to help."

Combing about 2,000 acres of land, aircraft scanned overhead, horses took to the pastures, but there was no sign of the boy and the dog.

"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.

Parents, Courtney and Brock, were heartbroken at the thought of calling the search off. Right as search crews thought they were about to give up, they found out someone else wasn't going to.

"Pat (one volunteer) went over the hill and shot his headlights and Cooper stood up just enough to let him know he was there," Courtney said with tears in her eyes.

A mile from home, Cooper refused to leave Carson's side. While hundreds searched for them, Carson lay underneath his dog, as Cooper kept the boy dry and warm.

An ATV picked Carson up and Cooper followed the machine all the way back to the house.

"The dog and him are buddies," Hook said. "They got themselves in a little bit of trouble last night."

Turns out, silence is what Courtney is left with-- unable to describe the love that saved her son.

"If they would have called it off and couldn't find him last night," Courtney said. "Cooper would have at least kept him warm."

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.

Carson's parents believe he must have wandered after some farm equipment while playing outside with the dog.

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