A 22-month-old boy recently wandered off from his South Carolina house wearing only a diaper and a t-shirt. He would spend an entire night in the woods near his house on a night when the temperature dipped into the 40s.
Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews assumed the worst. ”I was with one of my officers talking to the helicopter crew when we got the call, ‘They found him.’ And I was like, ‘Is he alive?’ We worried there was no way, because of the coldness and because he had been out there all night.
“When they said, ‘He’s fine,’ I’m thinking, Wow. How did that happen?” The only thing Kershaw could come up with was the family dog.
At least that’s what Matthews told AOL News on Monday. Tyler Jacobsen was last seen by his mother, Jacklyn Marie Jacobson, while she was watching TV in her bedroom with her boyfriend when Tyler had left the room to “get some juice.” The 25-year-old woman reported her son missing this past Friday at 8pm.
“Dozens of police officers, firefighters and sheriff’s deputies searched the woods, some using bloodhounds, while the helicopter circled overhead in a search pattern. But the infrared was looking for a little boy alone — and without knowing one of the family’s two dogs was missing as well, they may have missed the pair, Matthews said.”
Lucky for the boy that his dog decided to follow him. For it’s quite likely that man’s best friend was just that to young Tyler. The dog likely kept him safe and warm throughout the night he spent all by himself. Wearing no pants. While barefoot.
On Saturday morning, a man walking down the road thought he heard crying from the woods. He was right. Officers found the boy and his dog, a mid-sized black Lab /retriever mix about a quarter mile away from his house.
As a parent, the first thing I wondered was how the mom could have possibly let her son get so far away. Wouldn’t she have wondered after just a few minutes what was taking him so long to get that juice?
Sadly, it sounds as if Tyler’s living situation is less than ideal. “[Matthews described the living conditions inside the family’s home as ‘deplorable,’ telling AOL News, ‘That’s kind of a nice way of saying how nasty it is.’ ” Matthews is going to have the Department of Social services check out the home and make suggestions to the mom on how she can make it more livable.
While they’re at it, they may wanna get that dog to a vet and make sure he’s in good health. Sounds like he might be the best thing that kid’s got going.