GK Hart/Vikki Hart / George Pachantouris / Getty
A little boy wandering away from his Houston home Saturday sparked plenty of worry and a hurried search, but luckily Jose Muñoz had his best friend with him.
Jose and his mother, Jasmine Martinez, laid down that afternoon for a nap. When she woke up a short time later, Jose—who is 5 years old—was gone, Houston’s KPRC reported. She searched the house to no avail. So, assuming Jose must have pushed open the door and wandered away, she contacted the Houston Police Department.
Thankfully, Jose was located a short time later, about one-half mile from his home after witnesses spotted him walking along some train tracks in the area. And when HPD located the youngster, the family’s 1-year-old German shepherd, Alejandero, was walking dutifully by his side.
Alejandro has had a strong bond with them ever since he joined the family, Jose’s sister, Samantha Muñoz, told KPRC. “We got [the dog] when he was a baby. I was not surprised when they said he was walking with him the whole entire time.”
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This isn’t the first time dogs have protected lost children and it’s almost certain to not be the last, given the capricious nature of young kiddos and the fact that dogs are probably the best thing in the world. In Jose’s case, German shepherds are members of the herding group, so when Alejandro saw a member of “his” herd wandering away, the instinct to follow along and stick with Jose kicked in.
“The dog knew he had to go with him because he was doing something he was not supposed to do,” HPD Sgt. Ricardo Salas told KPRC.
Even after HPD arrived and gave the boy water and a cool place to sit, Alejandro was right there, Velcroed to the boy’s side.
“I sat the child in my patrol unit so he could get some AC, and I looked back and the dog jumped in the patrol car,” Salas said.
Now, thanks to the quick action of HPD and a very loyal doggo, Jose is back home, safe and sound. HPD says no one will face any charges, and Jose’s mother told KPRC she’s looking into installing child protective locks on her doors.