Puppy power saves boy from freezing in the woods

December 8, 2008

A little 3-year-old lost in the Virginia woods was back home safe Sunday thanks to two puppies who were happy to keep him warm.

Jaylynn Thorpe, 3, wandered away from his baby-sitter at 4 p.m. Friday and was missing for 21 hours as hundreds of friends, family and law enforcement officials searched for him in the thick woods of Halifax County, fearing the worst.

Close to 300 people from North Carolina and Virginia joined in the search to find Jaylynn.

Jaylynn’s frantic family knew time was not on its side  through a harrowing night of freezing temperatures that got down to 17 degrees.

Officials said the lost little boy and the two family puppies wandered up to a mile in the dark, even across a highway.  The boy was finally found on Saturday afternoon sitting near a tree with the two puppies nuzzled against him.

The little boy didn’t say anything, according to rescue team member Jerry Gentry, but instead “just opened his arms up like, ‘I’m ready to go.'”

His mother told the New York Daily News: “When I first saw him, he was like, ‘Momma, I got cold. I slept in the woods last night. The puppies kept me warm.’ He told me that … the dogs slept up against him. And I’m sure the body heat kept him warm.

Billie Jo Roach, another member of the search party that found the boy, said the puppies refused to leave his side.

As the child was placed in an ambulance to be taken to a local hospital for examination, “The puppies were watching where he went.

“Where he went, they went,” Roach said.  The puppies and little Jaylynn are now doing fine!


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