Young six-year-old Ryle Smith has the family's two dogs Baxter and Bella to thank for keeping him warm and safe while lost in the woods Friday evening in Seneca. Ryle had been playing in his yard when he followed the dogs into the nearby woods.
Ryle's parents, Ryan and Holly Smith notified authorities about 6 p.m.that Ryle and the dogs were missing. Besides being worried about their child being lost in the woods, the temperatures were dipping into the low 20's.
According to the Joplin Globe, the Newton County Sheriff's Department along with fire rescue from Joplin, Seneca, and Redings Mill searched for the child.
Indeed it was a happy conclusion to a child lost in the woods when Ryle was discovered huddled in a ditch less than four hours later with Baxter and Bella lying on top of him keeping their little human friend warm. Ryle was checked out at the local hospital and was "none worse for the wear." He told the reporter for the Joplin Globe that he wasn't scared - just cold. After all, Ryle had his dogs to keep him safe.
Baxter is a boxer who has been part of the family for ten years, and Bella, a Labrador mixed breed, just adopted over Christmas guarded the child.
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