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CNN Today

4-Year-Old Lost Boy Huddles Through Rainy Night With Two Dogs

Aired February 18, 2000 - 1:20 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: A 4-year-old boy has been rescued after enduring a cold, rainy night huddled with two dogs. Authorities in Lauderdale County, Tennessee say Dewayne Johnson got lost about a mile from his home. One-hundred volunteers searched overnight, but it wasn't until the next day that the boy was spotted down a bluff along the Mississippi River. Dewayne says the two dogs, his own pet, Rosie (ph), and a neighbor's dog, kept him warm.

Tim Vechet (ph) of CNN affiliate WHBQ has the rest of the story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TIM VECHET, WHBQ REPORTER (voice-over): They're the best friend a boy could have. Meet Rose and Spot, two Labrador Retrievers, the only company little Dewayne Johnson had all night long.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because the dogs -- both the dogs were gone with him and one of the dogs was ours, and the dog was never -- the longest that dog ever did not come home was around five.

VECHET: The two dogs kept the boy warm, protected little Dewayne from wild animals like coyotes and bobcats, never leaving his side for more than 18 hours. Dr. David Gordan says he's not surprised, that Labs are extremely loyal, especially to children.

DR. DAVID GORDON: It helps protect them, helps maybe to guide them and keep them out of trouble.

VECHET: In fact, rescue crews spotted the dogs first. Cold, wet and hungry, they may have, in the end, saved the little boy's life.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't believe he would have survived without the two dogs.

VECHET: Volunteers even calling the dogs heroes, that they couldn't have found the boy without them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The dogs, they were just running around barking, you know. I think they were glad to see us too.

VECHET (on camera): So you're proud of Spot?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I am. Yes, I am. And I'm so glad they found this kid. (END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDRIA HALL, CNN ANCHOR: That's a nice end to it.

WATERS: Make the dog your friend, the moral of that story.

HALL: I know, isn't that the truth.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com

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