Our Hero: The Stray Who Kept a Lost Little Girl Warm on a Frozen Night
A few days ago we told you about the Pit Bull who protected a 3-year-old who had wandered into the woods near his home. The two were lost for an hour.
Last weekend, a similar thing happened, in much more hazardous circumstances, for a much longer time.
In the town of Pierzwin, Poland, a 3-year-old girl, Julia, wandered away from her home and vanished into a nearby forest. Her grandmother had last seen her playing in the backyard of her house with a stray dog, who was friendly with the family, according to the Daily Mail.
The black mongrel is named Czarue.
Night fell. The pair were in an area described as "freezing marshland." The rescue operation quickly escalated, with more than 200 people scouring the countryside. The temperature dropped to minus five degrees.
They searched all night and found nothing. It was not until early the next morning that they finally came across the pair, soaking wet, the dog and the girl huddled together, the girl crying for her mother.
Czarue, the stray dog, had kept the girl warm all night.
"We ran around 500 metres, and there was silence," said Grzegorz Szymonowski, a firefighter. "We stood to listen further and we heard the dog and later the crying of a child. We went in the direction and saw the child lying in the shrubs. She was wet because there was water in the forest."
"This dog is the most important part of this story; he is a hero. It is thanks to this dog that the girl survived the night."
Julia was transported to the hospital, where the head of the pediatric ward, Kazimiera Barczyk, said the girl suffered from frostbite but was otherwise fine.
"The only unusual symptoms are swollen hands and feet, probably from the frost. A surgeon inspected this and prescribed ointments. The next few days will show if there is some deeper frostbite, or just surface changes," Barczyk said.
The doctor added, "This dog, which was with her, most probably kept her warm. It lay down next to her when she fell asleep. She was walking and walking, and fell asleep when she got tired."
What makes this story even more heartwarming is that the girl had befriended the stray dog earlier.
Her grandmother said Czarue was the girl's best friend: "She was with this dog all the time. She didn't go anywhere without it.
"When I was looking after her, she constantly said, 'Granny, the dog needs to come in the house.' And she told me to cut bread, and she fed it all the time."