Family dog helps lead lost children to safety - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Family dog helps lead lost children to safety

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Wednesday morning's rescue was certainly an example of dogs being man's best friend after a family dog led two lost children to safety.

The family of the two children found on Mowbray Mountain told Eyewitness News that the Collie named Samber has lived on the mountain her whole life and knows the area well.

The 7-year-old dog is being hailed a hero after sticking by the sides of the lost children.

According to Dr. John Mullins with the Animal Care Center of Ooltewah, being a human's sidekick is just a dog's nature.

Young Hannah and Gideon followed Samber into the woods near their home on Tuesday night. After wandering into the wilderness, it eventually got dark. 
They fell asleep with no food or water. 

But the children say Samber never left their sides.

The dog led them out of the woods to a nearby cell tower where a subcontractor working in the area called 911.

"(Dogs) are going to stay with the animals or the people they're supposed to be protecting. They have that instinct to do that," Mullins said.

The veterinarian explained that dogs are group animals that don't like being by themselves. Whether it's other animals or humans, most dogs like being in a "pack." Their strength is in numbers, where Mullins said they feel more comfortable, protected and at ease.

But Samber's breed also plays a part in her loyalty. Collies are herding dogs, which are wired to stick with a group.

"You never know exactly what's going on in a dog's mind, but they're probably thinking you don't want to be by yourself, so they're going to keep you company. Or they don't want you to leave them alone," Mullins said.

Natural protectors with a sharp sense of direction -- just like Samber.

"Their sense of electromagnetic fields, or in some way following the direction of the sun and the moon. There are some dogs that can figure their way around and get their way back home," explained Mullins.

While dogs do have a sharp sense of direction, that doesn't mean every dog could lead its owners to safety quite like this rescue. That's why experts say you should stay on safe and well-marked trails with your pets.

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