Real-life stories of animals and their amazing bond with humans

Scotty saves a girl lost in the snow


Scotty was an amiable mixed-breed dog who lived with his family in the Ozark Mountains in Arkansas, near the Buffalo National River.

Although the area is quite safe, it is not the kind of place where you would want your child to be wandering around alone, at night and in winter. But that is what happened to one unfortunate family. They had gone for a walk through part of the river area.

However, 12-year-old Misty Hagar, who was a foster child, had somehow became separated from the rest of the party late in the afternoon. Within a few minutes she had become lost in the wild terrain, and her family quickly contacted a rescue team to search for her.

They had good reason to worry. In the pale sunshine the daytime weather had been deceptively warm, but now the temperature was plummeting. Even worsesnow dog Scotty, forecasters were predicting a snowstorm that night, and all Misty was wearing was a light jacket and an light pair of trousers.

Knowing they were in a race against time, and that Misty would struggle to survive a night out in that weather on her own, the rescuers leapt into action. A helicopter with infrared thermal imaging equipment was called in, while a search party of 100 people was augmented by bloodhounds. Yet as early evening turned into nightfall, there was still no sign of Misty.

Unknown to the search party, however, Misty was already in safe hands – or, rather, paws. Scotty lived not far from the spot where Misty had wandered. Out for a walk on his own, this white, mop-haired dog sensed her presence and went to her aid.

During that long, cold night, Scotty stayed by Misty’s side, allowing her to snuggle into his thick coat for warmth. Even more remarkably, Scotty seems to have hidden the young girl’s shoes to stop her walking any more. This meant she did not wander aimlessly and risk get further and further away from help.

So when the search parties eventually found Misty by the river the next morning, she was safe and sound, wrapped up in Scotty’s warm fur.

There were tears of joy and huge relief at her discovery, but Scotty himself did not join in the fuss.

Knowing now that his night-time companion was safe, Scotty left Misty, her family and rescuers to their hugs, and quietly walked back home. His work was done.

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