3/10/2013 6:19 PM
by Karen Franklin
HICO - A 2-year-old boy who was missing for two hours is at home playing in warm weather Sunday.
The family of Dylan Mason told WOAY the boy followed his two four-legged friends out of the yard after the dogs opened the gate.
Friends and neighbors searched for the boy for an hour, but had no success. The Fayette County Sheriff's Office, with the help of a Bloodhound named Wilber, found Mason in the woods 300 yards away.
"In police work, your No. 1 goal is to protect the public and stuff like that, but when a child is involved, and you're able to find them and they're not harmed, there's no other feeling," Chief Deputy Mike Fridley told WOAY.
Deputies credit their success to Wilber.
"Having a K-9 does the work of five to 10 deputies, so you think about it -- the time that could have been spent trying to get everybody together to come out there and search for this child, the deputy was able to get his police dog and track, and it was successful," Fridley said. "That's what the good thing was, you know? It came to a good ending. It could have been worse."
Mason's mother said she simply told her son, "You made mommy cry," and, "Never do that again."
Wilber and owner Deputy Willis found Mason on their last day working together. Wilber is scheduled to work with another deputy Monday.
"They ended their working relationship on a positive note, so that's kind of awesome too," Fridley said.