Dog Kept Three-Year-Old Girl Warm, Safe

The bond between Blue and Victoria saved her life.
By Julia Lane, February 2010, Updated June 2021

Thanks to her loyal Australian Cattle Dog, Blue, three-year-old Victoria Bensch survived freezing overnight temperatures in the desert. She had wandered away from her Phoenix home this past Thursday afternoon. Family and the local authorities frantically searched for the little girl as temperatures dipped in the desert. Thankfully, Friday morning, a sharp-eyed medic flying in a helicopter spotted Victoria cuddled up with Blue about a half mile from her home. The medic, Eric Tarr, was able to rescue both Victoria and Blue and reunite them with the family. My favorite part of the article is when Victoria's aunt says, "I don't even like animals and I hugged that dog so hard!"   

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Julia Lane owns Spot On K9 Sports, a training facility in the Chicago area, and offers online dog-sport coaching. She is the author of several travel books, and her byline has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Poets & Writers and elsewhere.