A family dog was credited with keeping two missing children safe overnight. Hannah and Matthew Musgrave, ages 7 and 4, went missing from their home in Soddy Daisy, Tennessee.
They were reported missing around 8:30 in the evening. Several agencies were involved in searching for the children. Officials also notified the railroad company whose tracks run near the property to have all trains slow down. Train engineers were cautioned to be on the lookout for the children.
The evening that the children went missing, the police requested that citizens not go out to search. The woods around the Musgrave’s home can be dangerous in the dark because the paths are unpredictable and not well-formed.
The next morning, first responders and trained volunteers split into teams to search areas near the home. Several businesses shut down so the police could have better access throughout the day.
The area that the children went missing was remote and rugged, so they encouraged individuals to share pictures of the children, but not to go out and search for them. They didn’t want anyone else getting lost in an attempt to find the children.
Through most of the day, the search parties were unable to find the children. Close to the evening, though, they emerged from the forest about two miles from their home. A neighbor saw the children and alerted the police.
Apparently, they had stepped into the forest following their dog. They got lost in the forest and were unable to make it home. They eventually found a cell tower and decided to stay there through the night.
The next day, they followed their dog who was eventually able to lead them to safety. The two were hungry and needed some medical attention, but were overall safe.
“They came out hungry—starving,” said Amy Maxwell, an emergency services worker for the county. “We were able to feed them whatever they wanted. They do have significant amounts of scratches. They have a lot of bug bites and both of them are suffering from severe poison ivy.”
Even though they needed some medical attention, many of the officers on duty believe that the children are safe because they trusted their dog. “Trusting a dog, their dog to guide them, I think really did save these children’s lives,” Maxwell shared. “Allowing them to know where they needed to walk and where they didn’t need to walk I think played a big role in these children’s lives.”
What an incredible ending to this story for this family. Dogs are incredible companions.
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