Heroes come in all shapes and sizes. A lot of them with fur and four paws too.
The realization that your child is missing is quite literally every parent’s worst nightmare.
This is something Marshal Butler’s parents know all too well.
Marshal isn’t just a toddler, he is also autistic. One Wednesday morning he quite simply disappeared with the family dogs. What’s worse is that he left wearing nothing but his diaper.
Even more challenging than simply locating the toddler was the fact that he doesn’t speak. Thankfully, his loyal dogs Nala and Buckwheat gave the family a bit of reassurance that at least he wasn’t alone.
According to Marshal’s aunt, Kayla Stewart, all of them were beyond themselves with worry.
“All sorts of worst-case scenarios” were running through their heads.
The neighbors immediately helped the family by splitting up to search the area while the sheriff’s department posted about the case on Facebook. Corey Dobridnia, an officer at the Walton County Sheriff’s Office shares that part of their response is to get as many agency members on the ground as possible to help with the search.
“Minutes are precious when it comes to the search of a child.”
But because dogs are amazing and the family pets are incredibly loyal, the little boy was found on the same day of his disappearance.
Neighbor Carol Shelton spotted the toddler about a mile away from his home.
“His dogs were right there with him. We’re thankful that the pups kind of guided him along. I guess they kept him safe.”
The quick-thinking neighbor and the determined officers helped bring the toddler back to his worried family.
“Marshal was in good spirits when found. A little dirty from the walk through the woods, but unharmed and happy. Dogs are loyal creatures. I feel like they probably knew to stay with him when they saw he was alone. Their instincts kicked in. They stayed with the boy and watched over him until he was located.”
While all human efforts definitely paid off in finding Marshal and bringing him back home to his family, one can’t help but think that the real heroes in this story are the loyal canines who kept the toddler safe.
Marshal wandered off into the unknown, but he did it with 2 of the best companions possible.
Nala and Buckwheat stayed right beside their toddler charge the entire time.
Imagine the possible dangers awaiting an eager, innocent toddler exploring the woods. Thanks to the dogs, the toddler sustained no injuries and was as healthy and happy as can be.
This is amazing, considering all the different ways things could have turned in a place like this.
This is proof of the important role dogs can play in anyone’s life.
More than just cuddly, furry best friends that bring comfort and love, dogs are extremely loyal and reliable. They definitely earned the nickname “man’s best friend”!
The toddler’s family was overjoyed to have Marshal home, safe and sound. Not only that, they’re quite proud of how their pets pulled through and kept Marshal safe.
“They’re doing their job,” declared Marshal’s mom.
Of course, we have to give a huge shoutout to Walton County Sherriff’s Office for tracking them all down so swiftly.
Learn more about the incredible act of loyalty and love of these dogs in the video below!