July 12th 2012 11:49 am
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By Molly Guthrie
An 8-year-old golden retriever named Autumn was lauded as a hero on the Fourth of July when she located a missing 5-year-old boy a half-mile from his Prescott, Wis., home.
"I think she knows that she was part of something special," said her owner, Jason Moser, of Ellsworth, Wis.
Moser and his dog were among hundreds of professionals and volunteers who searched Tuesday and Wednesday for the missing boy.
Scotty Meyer, who has autism and limited communication skills, wandered out of his family's home south of Prescott around noon Tuesday.
"My wife saw a story about it and they said, 'If you are willing to help or volunteer, just go to that address (of the boy's home),' " said Moser, a construction worker and father of two boys, ages 11 months and 4 years.
"I knew where the area was, so we got a baby sitter and we went over there on Tuesday night," Moser said.
His wife, Melissa, wasn't sure if Autumn could join them.
"She's not trained as a search dog," Moser said. "She wasn't sure if Autumn would be of any help or if you could even bring a dog. I said, 'They asked for volunteers and I'm sure they won't care if we bring some extra help with us.' "
When the search resumed at daylight Wednesday, Moser and Autumn were back on the trail.
"About two hours into our search, we were getting close to the (Mississippi) River, so I gave Autumn a break and she jumped into the water to cool off," Moser said. "We headed back into the woods and after about five or 10 minutes, she started heading off in one direction and I followed her, thinking she knew where she was going.
"And then I heard a little whimper, a muffled kind of cry. I stopped to get my bearings and I heard that sound again; I started running. As I got closer to the sound, I could see him. He had no clothes on, and his diaper and bare skin stood out pretty brightly. He was sitting in front of a tree trunk, about two-thirds up a pretty steep hill. I kneeled down in front of him -- I was worried he'd slide down the hill -- and he grabbed the water bottle out of my hands and took a big drink."
It could have ended so differently.
"He was about 200 yards away from the railroad tracks and the river," Moser said.
According to the Pierce County sheriff's office, Scotty was dehydrated, sunburned and mosquito-bitten, but he was otherwise healthy and in good condition. He was being evaluated at a St. Paul hospital.
Leave A Comment | 7 people already have
Way to go, Autumn!
Woofs! And I thought I had a special 4th o' July! This is really special!
Thanks for bringing us the story Jamaica.
Sometimes... just sometimes the good guys and furs win. Wonderful ending ... beautiful dog.
Thanks so much, Autumn!
That was a good tail you dug up fur us, Jamaica, thanks to you, too!
What a pawsome story!
Thanks fur the barks, furiends!