Three-year-old Carson Urness lives in Cooperstown, North Dakota with his parents, Courtney and Brock, and their dog, Cooper. Courtney and Brock found Cooper as a puppy, abandoned on a side road. The dog quickly took to the family and became very loyal to all of them, but specifically Carson. When Carson was home, it was unusual to see him without Cooper.
Cooperstown is a rural, beautiful town, with a population of just over 900, and the Urness’ love living there. However, one day in May of 2014 changed the family’s lives forever.
Where Is Carson?
On Monday, May 5th, Carson was playing outside with Cooper for hours, as they often did. Around 7:30pm, Carson’s mother, Courtney, called him to come inside for dinner. When the three-year-old didn’t answer, she was immediately alarmed. Courtney left everything she was doing and ran outside, looking for her son. Carson was nowhere to be found in the family’s huge farm-yard. As fear and panic began to set in, Courtney quickly called 911 to report her missing child.
Before the sun finished setting, Carson’s parents and police were out looking for their child. However, it was getting dark quickly, and the temperature was dropping. Worst still, surrounding the Urness’ home was over 2,000 acres of land.
“I lost it, I guess you could say,” Courtney told local news station WDAY, regarding that frightening night. “You think of the worst.”
The Stressful Search
By 1:00am the next morning, over 200 volunteers were out looking for Carson. Additionally, firefighters, a helicopter, and search dogs were called in to help. However, the search crews were becoming discouraged. Not only had it been nearly eight hours since Cooper went missing, but a thunderstorm had severely hindered the search. Then a break came.
Luckily, the three-year-old’s parents realized their dog, Cooper, was also missing. Carson and Cooper did everything together, and the dog was very protective of his human “brother.” Courtney and Brock were hoping that the inseparable duo were together, and by finding one they would find the other.
“Then I [realized] Cooper was gone. If anyone was going to find him, they’d just have to find Cooper,” Mrs. Urness recalled.
Cooper, The Hero Dog
At 2:00 am, crews found the three-year-old about a mile away from his home – and Cooper the dog. Cooper was laying on top of the toddler, keeping him safe and warm. Carson was taken to the hospital to make sure he was okay. Despite spending nearly seven hours in the cold and rain, Carson was completely fine. Not a scratch on him! After the hospital, Carson finally went home to his parents.
It was a sure scare for the whole family, but Mrs. Urness was quoted saying, “[Carson] came up to me today and he goes, ‘Mom, I was really scared, but Cooper laid on me. He kept me warm.” Has there ever been a greater example of a dog being “man’s best friend?”
Everyone involved in the search acted kind-heartedly and methodically, which is best in these circumstances. Also, if it wasn’t for the large search party, Carson might not have been reached so quickly. However, Cooper the dog is definitely the hero and star of it all. After taking care of three-year-old Carson and keeping him warm until morning, we think this dog deserves a medal. Or at least as many treats as he’d like!