Fear and terror ripped through Kershaw County Friday night, as a precious two-year old child from Elgin went missing. Alone and left to the elements, there was not much hope for the small child to make it through the night. But according to deputies, a saving grace watched over the baby boy and he was found safely. The saving grace? The family’s dog.
According to Sheriff Jim Matthews, 22-month Tyler Jacobson was behind a house, crying, when neighbors heard the child’s sounds and alerted authorities. Not long after, a tearful reunion and sighs of relief filled the community with joy.
The child’s mother and boyfriend reported Tyler missing at 8 pm, when they said he went to ‘get some juice’ but never came back. Kershaw County deputies immediately dispatched infrared search capable helicopters and bloodhound units, but by 12:30 am had called off the search. Angst and sadness was felt by all, who thought this story may have had a tragic ending.
But little did everyone know, that in the yard of an area woman — Emily Dubose — a miracle was taking place. The temperatures were frigid, a bone-chilling 40 degrees that quickly dropped to 16 degrees. Such weather is cold enough to freeze the life out of the heartiest of people with little exposure: fingers will cramp and the body will chill until frozen at such temperatures, so this child was in really dire need of protection from exposure.
A dog, the dog of Emily Dubose, was that protection. The dog found the child and huddled up with him. According to figured reports, the dog warmed the child with its body, taking it to a clearing wear a blanket of brush and sticks were assembled. It remains unconfirmed if the dog made this bed for the child.
There are also local reports of the dog bearing several scars on its body, as if it may have been in a recent altercation with coyotes that are known to haunt and spook this small town community. The dog saved the child from hypothermia and the beasts of nature, and now, the community is rightfully calling the cavalier canine a hero.
Kershaw County deputies used a bloodhound tracking team and a SLED helicopter with infrared capabilities, but called the search off around 12:30am Saturday. The search resumed around 7:45am, and the boy was found shortly thereafter. “Just thinking that a dog would watch a baby over the night, it’s kind of like a movie instead of real life,” said Emily DuBose, who lives in the house outside which the baby was found.
DuBose had no idea a story of devotion and survival was playing out right outside her door. “When we saw the choppers last night, we just assumed a criminal was loose, so I locked the door,” said Linda Harr, who also lives at the house. “The last thing I was gonna do is go outside.”
“I heard some barking early in the morning, but I didn’t really think about it, I just heard dogs barking,” said DuBose.
But during the night, Jacobson’s dog was keeping watch over his 22-month-old master in temperatures that got down to the 40s. “I just wish I’d have known, I could have warmed him up, called the cops,” said Harr.
Now, words of praise for the dog who likely helped save little Tyler’s life. “Since he belonged to them, he must have followed them the whole way, so that’s very special,” said Harr.