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Family dog helps keep missing toddler warm in the Arizona wilderness
Everyone was worried about 3-year-old Victoria, who'd been missing for hours. What they didn't know at the time is that she had a four-legged angel by her side.
Jenny Brown
11.01.21

As parents, we do everything in our power to keep our children happy and safe. But as we know, scary things can happen that no one ever predicted.

For the Bensch family of Arizona, their worst fear came true when three-year-old Victoria went missing.

Pixabay - Pexels
Source:
Pixabay - Pexels

It all took place on just an average day in February at the family’s residence. The toddler had been playing with their Queensland Heeler named Blue on the porch.

Around 5 p.m. that evening Victoria thought their other dog, Rusty, had wandered off. So, she went to go look for him out in the rural area.

As it turns out, Rusty wasn’t missing at all. But now Victoria was instead.

YouTube Screenshot - SHARKSWHALESANIMALS
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - SHARKSWHALESANIMALS

The little girl’s parents were frantic when they discovered she wasn’t there. They looked everywhere for her, only to come up empty-handed. According to The Arizona Republic, that’s when they called the authorities, who jumped into action with a search party.

Pixabay - FotoZeit
Source:
Pixabay - FotoZeit

On top of it all, it was a cold winter night with the temperatures in the 30’s. She had only been wearing a t-shirt. How would she stay warm?

YouTube Screenshot - SHARKSWHALESANIMALS
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - SHARKSWHALESANIMALS

The search continued into the night and through the morning. Then about 15 hours in something caught the eye of DPS pilot, Matthew Uhl, and Eric Tarr. They were flying in a search helicopter.

About a half-mile from the Bensch’s property they noticed the family dog Blue in a ravine, which was surrounded by the Arizona wilderness. However, he wasn’t alone.

YouTube Screenshot - SHARKSWHALESANIMALS
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - SHARKSWHALESANIMALS

The toddler was lying on the ground near the dog.

Sgt. Jeff Newnum from the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office told reporters:

“That dog stayed with her, and she was able to stay warm with the dog. And probably one of the things that saved her.”

YouTube Screenshot - SHARKSWHALESANIMALS
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - SHARKSWHALESANIMALS

At first, Blue seemed weary of the rescuers and protective of Victoria. But after he saw the toddler smiling he became less guarded.

Pilot Uhl said:

“I think once the dog realized we were there to help them out, he was very excited. He ran around while the medic tended to the little girl, and when it was time to go, he jumped right into the helicopter and was ready to go.”

YouTube Screenshot - SHARKSWHALESANIMALS
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - SHARKSWHALESANIMALS

Victoria was taken to the hospital where she received treatment for a small case of frostbite on her swollen feet, The Arizona Republic reported. Despite having some scratches too, she was thankfully okay.

Not all stories turn out this way though. It was truly a miracle.

The family of Victoria couldn’t be more grateful of everyone who searched for her. They are also appreciative of their dog Blue who acted as the girl’s guardian angel.

YouTube Screenshot
Source:
YouTube Screenshot

Victoria’s aunt, Kim Rayfield, told reporters:

“…that dog stayed with her, and I believe that they will have a relationship, probably for a very long time.”

People on the internet also see Blue as one of the biggest heroes of the story.

One YouTube commenter wrote:

“Not only would the dog keep her warm it would also protect her from predators. The dog should get a medal..”

Another person simply stated:

“There’s a reason god is dog backwards”

YouTube Screenshot
Source:
YouTube Screenshot

Be sure to watch the video below to see more on how Blue was Victoria’s guardian angel that night. He definitely deserved a big steak!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

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By Jenny Brown
hi@sbly.com
Jenny Brown is a senior writer at Shareably. She is based in San Francisco and can be reached at hi@shareably.net.
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