Rescuers search for 3-year-old missing in forest only to discover dog had been keeping her warm

A couple of years ago on a freezing, wintry day in February, a little girl wandered away from her Cordes Lakes, Arizona home. Victoria Bensch was just 3-years-old when she let her feet carry her into the remote mountain wilderness surrounding her home. Just like that, the little girl was lost in the woods.

The sun was sinking fast and in a short amount of time, the toddler was lost in the dark forest, shivering her way through a night of 30° weather.

The only good thing about this situation is that little Victoria wasn’t completely alone. Her loyal dog, Blue, followed into the forest to keep her warm and safe.

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Blue is a Queensland Heeler breed, and the faithful dog is smart enough to know that his little human shouldn’t be wandering into the wilderness on her own. Acting as the little girl’s guardian angel, Blue snuggled up close to her and wouldn’t leave her side.

“The dog kept her alert, warm and gave her companionship throughout a very cold night,” reports Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office spokesman, Dwight D’Evelyn, to The Arizona Republic.

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Not knowing what to do or how to find her way home, the little girl and her dog huddled up together in a dry creek bed. A large search party composed of friends and family scoured the mountainside, frantically bellowing out Victoria’s name. Knowing the toddler could have gone absolutely anywhere, the Department of Public Health and Safety deployed one of their helicopters to search for Victoria.

Finally, after 15 long hours of relentless searching, the pilot caught a glimpse of Victoria and her protective dog.

Matthew Uhl, the man who spotted them, swooped in for a landing. Blue warily kept his eyes trained on the medic, Eric Tarr, as he came near to the little girl.

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Once the dog saw his little human smile, though, he instantly eased up.

“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 and was ready to go,” recalls Uhl.

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Thankfully, the little girl was found to be unscathed and relatively healthy, considering the circumstances.

Victoria was flown to the Phoenix Children’s Hospital to be treated. She had suffered mild frostbite from spending the night in the cold. Had it not been for Blue keeping her warm, though, her case would have been far more severe.

“We have to give a lot of credit to Blue. He pretty much stayed with her all night,” says Victoria’s aunt, Kim Rayfield.

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We couldn’t agree with that sentiment more. While it took a great deal of effort from everyone in the search party to find her, it was her devoted dog who kept her safe until they could be found. Blue is a total hero that has proven to us, once again, that the love of a dog is absolutely priceless.

To learn more about Blue’s incredible story, watch the video below.

If you like this rescue story, then you will love this one about another little girl who was lost in the Siberian wilderness for 11 days and nights with her dog who kept her safe and ultimately saved her life.

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H/T: Animal Channel