Hero dog is found protecting missing girl, 4, who spent 48 hours in the wilderness with her faithful pet

A four-year-old girl from Alabama who disappeared on Wednesday has been found less than a mile from where she wandered off. Vadie Sides disappeared for almost a full 48 hours before she was finally located on Friday afternoon.  

Authorities said the girl wandered away from a babysitter while in a backyard. 

Vadie, from the small community of Loachapoka just west of Auburn was found in woods by responders who had been tirelessly searching for her. 

Hundreds of law enforcement officers from multiple agencies helped search for the youngster along with drones and horses.

Her dog was still loyally by her side but ran off as rescuers approached. 'One of the volunteers that was probably 50 yards to my right … heard a dog bark,' one rescuer said. 'The dog was actually kind of spooked and came at the man a little bit and then saw the line of about 30 of us, and the dog turned around and went down the hill.' 

Volunteers ran after the dog which was not brought out of the woods at the same time as Vadie.

'Praise God Vadie was there, she popped her head up, we saw her little red hair,' one rescuer said. 'I'll tell you what, she was scratched up on the knees and the forearms but otherwise in great spirits, she was just talking like 'no big deal' … it's truly a miracle.'  

Although the dog ran away when rescuers approached, it later came home on its own.