woods3-year-old named Julia was playing in the yard of her home in the village of Pierzwin, Poland, withher small dog named Czarus. They probably played this way together numerous times -- it probably seemed a day like any other. Then theyvanished. The parents searched around for her and there wasn't a trace. I can't imagine the panic they felt, especially since they lived in a wooded area with marshes all around. They called the authorities who pulled together a 250-person search party to look for Julia. 

Night fell and she was nowhere to be found. Temperatures were below freezing.

They continued their search, walking the woods, and they even had a helicopter with infrared lights looking for any sign of the toddler. Nothing. With every moment that passed, I'm sure Julia's parents feared the worst. That night must have been an eternity. Julia was finally found the next morning -- alive! She was wet and had frostbite, but her little black dog Czarus was right there by her side keeping her warm all through the night.

Man's -- and this little girl's -- best friend! Czarus means "charmer" and I think we can all agree this dog is certainly the most charming and chivalrous -- it's believed the pup saved Julia's life, keeping her warm as they huddled together about three miles from home.

Firefighter Grzegorz Szymanski told the BBC:

For the whole night the animal was with the girl, it never left her. Remember, it was 5 degrees below zero and the child was wet.

It was reported that Julia was frightened and freezing, but conscious, with credit of her survival to Czarus, a four-legged hero. Julia was taken to the hospital to be treated and is recovering.

Thankfully this story had a happy ending -- there are far too many sad ones lately.

Do you have a dog that you think would also protect your children in a similar situation?