Last month, a three-year-old tot got lost after following her father into the Siberian forest. Nobody from her remote village in the Sakha Republic could find her for more than a week in the area, which is a haunt of wolves and bears.
Finally, the family dog returned home and led searchers to the little girl. The men needed armed guards because of bears.
The breakthrough came when they found found the child's footprint on the bank of a river. Next to her print, was a dog's paw mark which gave the searchers hope they were in the right area. Next day, they found the child in a grass nest with signs that the dog had slept beside her to keep her warm at night when temperatures sunk close to zero. She was badly undernourished and lying in the grassy hole.
Her Siberian upbringing, which meant she often entered the forest with her grandmother to pick berries, held her in good stead. She was not daunted, nor did she feel any risks.
“The family live far away in a remote village, not in the city, and it makes its mark,” the grandmother said.
“She was raised close to nature and Karina herself is a very strong girl, has a strong-willed character. This probably helped her to survive.”
In the case of the tiny child lost in the forest, the dog must have considered staying with her to keep her warm as the main priority. Then, as she grew weaker, the dog must have worked out she needed help. Bless them both.
Dogs can be trained to help disabled people in every way, even getting the washing out of the machine. Dogs can follow the scent of criminals, or those lost in the wilderness. They are mankind's oldest animal companions.
Do you have a story to share about how a dog helped you?