Missing 3-year-old girl found safe with loyal dog by her side

There’s nothing more precious than the love between a child and their dog. Dogs are very loyal to their young owners and will always step up to protect them and keep them from harm.

It’s especially true when children go missing. We’ve seen many stories of children who have been lost for days, only to be found with their loyal dog by their side keeping them safe.

That was the case for one missing toddler who disappeared for 24 hours, but always had her cocker spaniel by her side.

Abby Ladwig is a 3-year-old from Winter, Wisconsin, who was reported missing on August 10. She disappeared with her cocker spaniel, Peanut, and it is believed she followed the dog into the woods and got lost.

The Sawyer County Sheriff’s Office is asking all volunteers looking to help search for the missing 3 year old in Winter…

Posted by Sawyer County Sheriff's Office on Monday, August 10, 2020

A large search party began, with hundreds of volunteers looking through the woods and helicopters flying overhead.

It was a difficult search, covering an expansive area of difficult terrain.

“With the terrain and the brush there it was difficult to conduct the searches,” Sawyer County Sheriff’s Office Sheriff Doug Mrotek told WCCO. “At times you had to crawl under or through the brush.”

But they had a break in the case when a neighbor spotted Peanut, and knew Abby had to be nearby.

“I was sitting here reading a book and watching the traffic and that little dog had come running out,” Jerome Frederick told KBJR 6. “It just dawned on me when it got about there, wait a minute! That’s their dog, I’ve seen it over there and I turned and I turn my head and she’s standing there!”


Abby was rescued after being gone for 24 hours. Despite the ordeal, she was unharmed and still in relatively good spirits.

“She wasn’t crying, she wasn’t upset,” Frederick said. “She said, ‘where’s my mama?’ And that’s all she said to me.”

“She’s happy, she’s very tired, very sore,” Abby’s aunt Johnna Ludack said. “She said she followed the dog, she was in the woods and slept in the woods.”

The family thanked all the volunteers who helped search for Abby… but a lot of thanks went to Peanut for staying with her the whole time.

“The dog protected her and stayed with her,” Ludack told WCCO.


We’re so glad Abby is home safe! Special thanks to her loyal dog Peanut for watching over her — we know the dog must’ve been a huge comfort during this scary ordeal.

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