The Best Mother’s Day Present: Cooper the Dog Saves Carson the Boy

What do you think is the best Mother’s Day present? A North Dakota mom recently found out when her 3-year-old son and 3-year-old dog went missing. Cooper the dog saved Carson the boy by lying on and by him through a seven hour ordeal.  The heat from his body kept Carson warm and safe.

At about 7:30 pm on Monday, May 5, Courtney Urness went outside to call Carson for dinner. It soon became evident Carson was missing. She searched for a half hour then called her husband, Brock. After searching their 10 acre plus farm, they called 911 asking the local sheriff for help.

The Search

The remote area of Cooperstown has a population of 800, and many local residents soon swept into action looking for the little tyke.  Searching through air and with horses and ATVs (all-terrain vehicles), about 200 volunteers combed around 2,000 acres trying to spot Carson. The Urnesses realized their family dog, Cooper, was also missing and they could only pray he was protecting Carson.

They were right.

During the long ordeal, one of the helicopters picked up activity but it turned out to be just a skunk moving about. The Urenesses grew more concerned when a bloodhound search dog didn’t find any scent of the lost travelers.

By about 2:30 am, under darkness and the onslaught of rain, the rescue team was considering stopping for the night. However, a firefighter on a four-wheeler vehicle decided to look over one more hill.

With the sweep of headlights across the tall grass in one of the Urnesses pastures, the volunteers caught sight of Cooper standing up and there below the golden haired dog was little Carson, asleep and safe with his best friend in the world.

Suffering nothing other than a torn pair of jeans, a ripped jacket and muddy socks and shoes, Carson was returned to his parents. Cooper trotted the one mile home behind the delighted family. Cooper kept Carson warm through the wet, 40 degree weather — except for Carson’s feet.  They were the only part of the boy that wasn’t directly under Cooper. A doctor’s exam proclaimed Carson in full health.


Adding to the beauty of this story about love and loyalty between a boy and his dog is Cooper’s story. Cooper, a presumed German shepherd, Labrador and Golden Retriever mix, had been rescued by the Urnesses when they found him as a stray puppy by the side of the road near a relative’s home three years ago.

They took him in and raised Carson — then only an infant—with Cooper. Their kindness certainly paid off three years later when Carson decided to wander further than usual from the family farm.  There are no more loyal creatures under heaven than a rescued dog.

“We’re very thankful for the police and local fire department here and all the people with horses and four-wheelers and the walkers,” Urness told ABC News. “We’re very grateful that they all came and looked and helped us.”

“Mom, I was really scared,” Carson told his mother. “But Cooper laid on me. He kept me warm.”

Yep, the best Mother’s Day present ever!

Photo credit: Thinkstock

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Jim Ven
Jim Ven3 months ago

thanks for the article.

Carrie-Anne Brown
Carrie-Anne Brown6 months ago

thanks for sharing :)

Janice Thompson
Janice Thompsonabout a year ago

Super Cooper: Lucky Carson.

Jennifer H.
Jennifer H.1 years ago

I have a problem with this one. What was a 3-year old doing outside, unsupervised, in cold ND? Doesn't that bother anyone? The dog was wonderful, of course, but why was the kid playing outside at that age?

I have a problem with the mother but the dog was nature's miracle.

Shannon Moody
Shannon Moody1 years ago


Robert O.
Robert O.1 years ago

Best present indeed. Thanks Megan.

Elizabeth Kleynhans
Elzabe Kleynhans1 years ago

God sends the angels to guard over us... sometimes they take the form of our beloved pets!

Patti Ruocco
Patti Ruocco1 years ago

If only humans were that loyal and loving...

Manuela C.
Manuela C.1 years ago

Best present ever! =)

Val M.
Val M.1 years ago

Thank you!