We Don't Deserve Dogs

2-Year-Old Girl Lost In The Woods Was Found Safe Hours Later Using Family’s Dog As A Pillow

The 2-year-old was found around midnight three miles away from home... with two dogs keeping her safe.

by Kaitlin Kimont

A missing 2-year-old girl from Menominee County in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula has been found safe after wandering away from home, along with two family dogs who never left her side. Michigan state police said the toddler was found sleeping in the woods miles away from home, using one dog as a pillow as another pup laid next to her on guard duty.

The little girl, identified as Thea in a local news report, was reported missing around 8 p.m. on Sept. 20 and police launched an “extensive search” for her with the help of drones, K-9 units, search and rescue teams, as well as local volunteers, according to WJMN Local 3. Hours later, around midnight, she was found three miles from home by a neighbor on an ATV. The toddler was sleeping, using the family’s smaller dog as a pillow and their larger dog was laying near her.

“She laid down and used one of the dogs as a pillow, and the other dog laid right next to her and kept her safe,” Lt. Mark Giannunzio told the Associated Press on Thursday. “It’s a really remarkable story.”

The smaller dog Thea was sleeping on is a female Springer Spaniel named Hartley and the larger dog who stayed on watch duty as the toddler slept is a male Rottweiler named Buddy, according to the Daily Mail.

Thea’s mother, Brooke Chase, told WJMN Local 3 she was “screaming” at the top of her lungs for her daughter and the dogs when she realized they were all missing. “I realized she was missing and I’m telling her uncle, and I said, ‘Where is she?’” she told the local news outlet in an TV interview, with her daughter and husband Alex sitting next to her. “We’re searching all around the yard, up and down the roads, screaming at the top of our lungs her name, calling for the dogs because the dogs were missing, too.”

“It’s completely wooded. Deep, thick woods around here. There’s a swamp over there, so of course we’re, like, freaking out,” Chase added. “And after about 15 minutes of searching for her with our friends and family, I called the cops ... I was in such a fog and in such a shock that she was literally gone, in a split second.”

Once Thea was found, state police told the Associated Press that the toddler was examined by medical staff and “appeared to be in good health.”

Chase told the Daily Mail that she’s grateful that the dogs were with her daughter during that scary ordeal. “I’m just baffled that this even happened,” she told the outlet, “and just so thankful that those dogs are wrapped around her little finger and kept her safe.”