In July 2014, 4-year-old Karina Chikitova and her dog, Kyrachaan, disappeared into a Siberian forest. Over a hundred people searched for the little girl for over a week, but were unable to find her.
Then 11 days later, Karina's dog returned to the village. At first, the family thought that the dog's return meant that their little girl must have died, but they soon realized that Kyrachaan was trying to tell them something.
When Karina disappeared, her grandmother thought she was with her dad in the next village. But when she discovered that her assumption was wrong, Karina's grandmother and the rest of the family panicked and contacted the police. Despite a large search effort by over a hundred people lasting more than a week, they were unable to find the girl.
Days passed, and the family began to lose hope. They knew that a 4-year girl couldn't survive long in a forest inhabitated by bears and wolves. Karina's only hope was the protection of her dog, Kyrachaan.
Eleven days after Karina and Kyrachaan disappeared, the dog returned home alone. Karina's family was distraught and they decided that the dog left their daughter's side after she died.
But they soon realized that Kyrachaan had something to say. He wanted to show them where their daughter was. And so, the family followed Kyrachaan into the woods again.
Finally, after Karina had been missing for 11 days, her family found her. She was hidden in the tall grass about 4 miles (6 km) from home.
Karina was weak and tired, but uninjured. (Her only wounds were scrapes and insect bites.) The little girl's lack of injuries and the fact that she survived at all is surely thanks to Kyrachaan, who watched over her.
After Karina was rescued, villagers called her "Mowgli" after the boy in "The Jungle Book." Her story became known throughout the country and a statue of Karina and Kyrachaan was built at Yakutsk Airport.
Kyrachaan really shows how smart dogs are. If it weren't for him, Karina probably wouldn't have survived.
Watch a video of the moment when Karina's family finds her below. It's in Russian, but the emotion of finding your little girl after 11 days is the same in any language:
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