When a dog goes wandering, his child often follows. Or when a child goes wandering, his dog often follows. It is unknown who did the leading and who followed in this case, but all is well for two-year-old Dante Berry and his German Shepherd, Dasher.
The Australian toddler and his faithful dog meandered away from their front yard at around 8:30 pm local time on Monday, and spent 14 hours outside. They chose an unfortunate night to disappear, and were caught in bad thunderstorms. But Dasher stayed by Dante the entire time.
“You could just imagine what was going through his little mind – lost (and) dark,” said Will Hannah, Department of Sustainability and Environment tracker. “Lucky he did have his dog to keep him warm overnight.”
Dante’s mother, Bianca Chapman, quickly discovered them missing, but the two were already well down a dirt path and into the brush. Dante had been prone to occasional wandering before, but never so far. Over a hundred police, as well as firefighters, neighbors and concerned strangers helped Dante’s parents find them.
In the morning, a discarded diaper was found about a mile and a half from the home. Following the circular pattern of tiny footsteps accompanied by paw prints, police were soon led to Dante when they heard him crying in the brush nearby.
“From our information he’s renowned for pulling off his nappies,” Senior Sergeant Stephen Phelan remarked.
The grubby baby was found in a state forest about two and a half miles from his home, diaper-less and wearing only a long-sleeved shirt. He had prickles embedded in his feet and was slightly dehydrated. Despite his state of shock and rugged appearance, he seemed no worse for the wear. He was taken to a hospital after his mother got the chance to hold him and take him home for a bit.
“We are happy, but not surprised, to learn that his faithful dog Dasher stayed by his side and was also found safe and well,” Dante’s parents said.
No one can say for sure what might have happened to Dante had his dog not stayed with him. Dasher not only kept him warm during the thunderstorm, but likely warded off potential predators that may have been lurking in the forest.