A Texas family is celebrating the return of their lost daughter – and the dog who protected her when she wandered away and became lost in a local forest.
Thursday afternoon, Zoey Smith was playing in the yard at her grandmother’s house in Van Zandt County, Texas. The young girl told investigators she wandered away while following the family dog, Brownie, as he chased a raccoon. As word of her disappearance spread, search teams assembled and dispersed in an effort to locate Zoey in the forest surrounding her grandmother’s home.
Just after 7 p.m., about a mile and a half away from where she was last seen, Zoey was found with Brownie by her side. After staying with Zoey for over six hours, the Smith family said Brownie was so protective of their daughter that at first, the dog would not even let the strangers trying to save her get too close.
Myfoxdfw.com spoke Zoey’s mother, Stephanie Smith, who expressed tremendous gratitude for the efforts of local rescue volunteers, and the devoted pet who kept their daughter safe until they could find her.