Dog helps reunite missing Virginia 3-year-old with family

HENRY COUNTY, Va. (WSLS 10) – A 3-year-old Virginia boy is back with his family after he went missing for nine hours.

Mason Ryan was found at about 3 a.m. on Tuesday and WSLS 10 caught up with the family after Mason came home from the hospital.

He doesn’t share much about how he was able to walk a couple of miles away from home barefoot, but Mason will tell you that the family’s dog, Banjo, was by his side the entire time.

Mason’s mother says the boy was going to his room, but then walked out of the house trying to follow his dad who was driving away in his car. She was in another room, and he was gone when she turned back around.

Several hundred people searched for Mason.

“I ran into the woods and couldn’t find him and that kind of crushed me and then it started getting dark,” said Blake Ryan, Mason’s dad.

After nine hours of searching, it was Banjo, the dog the family saved two years ago, who helped bring Mason home.

“He brought my son back,” continued Ryan. “He stayed with him through the woods and didn’t let him out of his sight and let the people know where he was.”

Mason’s grandma, Shawn Strader, was there as they rescued the boy.

“I climbed over a fence and went down to where he was and I tried to talk to him then once he gave me that little smile I just busted down crying and just collapsed,” says Strader. ” I was so relieved.”

Mason has several scratches on his arms and legs and went to the hospital Tuesday morning, but he’s doing fine and is happy to be reunited with his family and his faithful friend.

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