Autumn, an 8-year-old Golden Retriever, is being credited with finding a boy who went missing from his home for close to 21 hours. Five-year-old Scotty Meyer, who is autistic and doesn't speak, wandered away from his home Tuesday at midday near Prescott, Wisconsin.
The family's home has a large fenced yard on the bluffs over the Mississippi River, and with the scorching sun and steep terrain his concerned parents appeared on television and pleaded for help.
Jason Moser volunteered for the search early Wednesday morning and within a few hours, he found Scotty, thanks to Autumn. The eight-year-old Golden Retriever found the missing boy down an embankment close to the family home. The area had been searched several times throughout the night by searchers and other dogs, but none had detected the boy.
Jason said Autumn had just taken a cooling break in the Mississippi River, when she headed up an embankment and turned hard right. After a few minutes trailing the dog Jason said, "I heard a little whimpering, a little crying. I saw bare skin and a diaper."
Jason sprinted toward the boy, who was tucked under a tree on a steep slope. Scotty grabbed a bottle of water Moser extended to him and gulped it down, parched from the extreme heat.
"He was dirty, tired and the first thing he grabbed was my water bottle," Jason said. "As fast as he grabbed that water, you could see he was doing well," Moser said. "I told him, 'Let's get you back to your parents.' He didn't want to move or go anywhere. You could tell he was a little scared, a little weak...I think I cried more than he did." Comforting the boy, Jason then called 911, shouted for help and texted his wife with the news.
Scotty's parents were soon reunited with him and the boy was taken to the hospital for treatment. He is said to have some scrapes, be dehydrated and sunburned but otherwise OK.
The Meyer's have two older autistic sons and thanked the hundreds of people turned out to search. By 8 am this morning - just as Jason found Scotty - the roads surrounding Prescott High School were jammed with more than a thousand volunteers. The volunteer searchers were mobilizing when news came that Scotty had been found, much to the relief of everyone involved.
Autumn had already received four ham sandwiches as a reward before heading home. "I think she knows something good's going on," Jason said, "but she'll get a good bath and probably another nice dinner tonight." He added she would receive her own steak or hamburger.