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Update: Family grateful for dog that kept missing toddler safe, warm

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The family of a North Dakota toddler who was missing for nearly six hours is grateful that their dog, Cooper, was there to keep him safe.

Three-year-old Carson Urness walked away from his family's rural Cooperstown farm Monday night, which prompted a 200-person search for the toddler.

“You think of the worst, but then I knew Cooper was gone. If anyone was going to find him, they'd just have to find Cooper," Courtney Urness, Carson's mother, told WDAY.

And that's just what happened. After nearly six hours, a fireman on an ATV spotted Cooper about a mile southeast of the family's farm. Cooper was lying on Carson, keeping him warm and safe.

The fireman picked up Carson, and Cooper followed them all the way home, according to Valley News Live.

“Great dog. I just didn't realize that he would actually be keeping him warm and protecting him," an emotional Courtney Urness told WDAY. "[Carson] came up to me [on Tuesday] and he goes, 'Mom, I was really scared, but Cooper laid on me. He kept me warm.' And I said, 'What about your feet? And he said, 'No, not those.'"

Brock Urness, Carson's father, said he was very proud of the family dog.

Cooper was just repaying the Urness family for what they did for him. When Cooper was a puppy, he was left on the side of the road and the family rescued him, according to reports.

Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Carson and Cooper's story is gaining attention nationwide. It was featured on the Dog Channel, in a story by Associated Press and by several other news organizations.

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