A family in Richmond, Minnesota, was worried sick when they were unable to locate their 2-year-old toddler who had gone missing. Thankfully, the child was found safe in a cornfield with his loyal family dogs. The canines faithfully remained by the child’s side till someone came to their rescue.
The adventurous Mason was playing outside his home with his three young cousins aged 7, 11, and 12, at around 6:15 p.m. one chilling Autumn day in 2017, when he wandered off into the Richmond cornfield. Fortunately, the family’s English Springer Spaniel, Bella Grace, spotted him and followed along, also accompanied by Bella Grace’s 12-week-old puppy, Madeline.
When the family realized Mason and the dogs were missing, they tried searching for them … but to no avail. As night fell, the panic-stricken family had no other alternative but to call the authorities in to help.
About 200 volunteers, in addition to police, firefighters, rescue department personnel, as well as two law enforcement bloodhounds, took part in the search operation to find Mason. Even a State Patrol helicopter was dispatched as the sky had turned dark.
Hovering over the farmland, the helicopter eventually detected the boy’s and dogs’ “heat signatures” through thermal image cameras (infrared imaging). When the helicopter’s camera detected them, Bella Grace was wagging her tail as she loyally stayed by Mason’s side.
One can imagine how difficult this search would have been without the helicopter’s thermal camera due to the dense thickets of corn, making it near impossible for any person to easily scan the area.
Family dog stays by missing toddler’s side, helping searchers find the 2-year-old in Minnesota cornfield. https://t.co/ZrULYlTO4a
— Star Tribune (@StarTribune) October 10, 2017
The gray-and-black image shows the older dog, Bella Grace, walking around Mason, sitting near him from time to time, seemingly guarding the boy from harm. “The [older] dog was in preservation and protection mode,” Stearns County Sheriff’s Lt. Vic Weiss told Star Tribune.
It transpired Mason had wandered about a quarter of a mile away from the backyard to a neighbor’s cornfield.
The pilot then directed the search team on the ground to the boy’s location; finally, they found Mason at around 9:20 p.m.! Lt. Vic Weiss said the search team “heard the dog barking at one point [before the boy was located], then it stopped barking.”
— Inside Edition (@InsideEdition) October 13, 2017
Finally, after going missing for three hours, Mason was found. The toddler was shivering with cold. He was safe and sound with Bella Grace and Madeline by his side. Granddad Rick Gertken said Mason “didn’t cry once.” “He wasn’t scared, and that’s after being in the dark for three hours,” he shared.
Alluding to Mason, Rick Gertken added: “He’s adventurous. He’s Grandpa’s boy.”
Albeit a bit cold and hungry, Mason was doing fine and “in good condition.” The police brought the boy back home to reunite with his family, who was without a shadow of a doubt relieved and glad.
“The dogs are very protective over all the kids. She sat right next to him and she barked the whole time. It is completely, ‘dog saves boy,’” Mason’s grandmother, Jerri Gertken, said in an interview with InsideEdition.
What a relief! Dogs are known for their deep sense of loyalty and their strong instinct to put themselves in harm’s way to protect their owners. Had it not been for Bella Grace and Madeline, Mason would have been beside himself with fear.
Watch the video:
Those two little bright spots in the video are a two-year-old boy and his pup, which stayed by the little boy's side for hours when he was missing until help arrived. ❤️ http://bit.ly/2yfN2qR
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