A faithful family dog named Blue helped save 3-year-old Victoria Bensch from dying of exposure after the toddler wandered away from her home on a February evening and got lost in the wilderness behind her home.
Victoria had wandered from her home in just a tshirt in the rural town of Cordes Lakes Arizona to search for the other family dog, who she mistakenly thought was gone. Blue, a Queensland Heeler who has been with Victoria since she was a baby, stayed by the toddler's side throughout the night where temperatures dropped below 30 degrees (-1 C).
Not long after they wandered off, her parents noticed they were missing and raised the alarm. Search and Rescue teams searched for 15 hours and the following morning a helicopter spotted her lying face down in a dry creek bed with Blue next to her.
Blue was protecting her and at first wouldn't let the medic approach. But as soon as Victoria got up and began to smile, Blue's mood changed immediately and he relaxed.
"I think once the dog realized we were there to help them out, he was very excited. He ran around while the medic tended to the little girl, and when it was time to go, he jumped right into the helicopter with her and was ready to go," said Department of Public Safety pilot Matthew Uhl. "He ran around while the medic tended to the little girl, and when it was time to go, he jumped right into the helicopter and was ready to go."
Victoria's feet were swollen, she had frostbite, and her body was covered with scratches but she was otherwise all right. The family and authorities credited Blue with saving her life. The sheriff's office spokesman said, "The dog kept her alert, warm and gave her companionship throughout a very cold night."
Blue saved Victoria in February 2010.
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