toddlerAshley Teafatiller of Onalaska, WA, is one happy and grateful mom today now that her 2-year-old son, Nathanial, is back home safe and sound. The toddler decided to do some exploring on Saturday so he and his 4-month-old puppy wandered out the front door on their own little expedition.

The father, who had fallen asleep on the couch, woke up about a half hour later to find his son, Nathanial and Stanley, the puppy gone. He called his wife, who was at work, frantic.

“I started crying. I just freaked out, I just started freaking out,” said Teafatiller. “It was the worst feeling of my life. I have never felt anything like it.”

“Everything horrible ran through my mind,” she said. “Does he have a broken arm or leg? Is he curled up in a ball somewhere bawling, scared, crying? I had no idea where he was or what he was thinking. I just kept praying to God and asking him to please guide my baby home.”

Search teams were sent out to look for the missing child and about six hours later a firefighter found the little guy about a mile from home near a creek. Clad only in a t-shirt and sock, he was curled up with his puppy, Stanley, who likely kept him warm enough to survive.

“We think the dog saved his life,” said Sheriff’s Office Commander Steven Aust.

Slightly scratched up, cold and wet, Nathanial survived his exploration and hopefully he won’t feel the urge again anytime soon. His mom has taken steps to make sure it won’t be so easy too.

So glad this story had a happy ending!! Looks like we have a little hero dog. Give that puppy a nice treat mom!

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