Dog Leads Owner To 89-Year-Old Dementia Patient Who Wandered From Home

MARTINSVILLE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — An elderly New Jersey woman is safe thanks to a heroic dog.

The woman had been outside in the cold for hours when the quick-thinking canine found her. For 2-year-old “Creature,” it proved to be a life-saving discovery.

Like any other night, the pit bull had to go out to take care of business Thursday.

But within minutes, the dog’s owner said she knew something was wrong when Creature pulled her outside.

“When I brought her back outside, back to the same spot, heard the stick again cracking and that’s when she took off again barking,” dog owner Cara Jones told CBS 2’s Christine Sloan.

“Creature” had come across Carmen Mitchell, who suffers from dementia. Mitchell was laying in the woods about a half a mile away from her Piscataway home.

“I saw a hand pop up to block the flashlight,” Jones said. “I saw she had mud on her, she was barefoot and I grabbed the dog to bring her back inside.”

Mitchell’s caretaker had just turned her back for a second when the 89-year-old made her way out the front door.

“Words can’t even explain how I was feeling last night,” caretaker Rochelle Mason said.

The elderly woman’s daughter, Christine Mitchell, said she was worried sick.

“Had no coat on, no shoes on and she just took off. We [drove] everywhere, we couldn’t find her,” she said. “Very scared, I lost my voice when they told me they found her.”

Mitchell was in the cold for eight hours Thursday night. Had it not been for Creature’s keen sense of smell, the result could have been tragic.

The heroic efforts of the pit bull are just a clear example of how smart dogs really are.

“They do get a bad rap. You’re always seeing them on the news,” Jones said of the pit bull breed. “It breaks my heart because there are so many dogs who don’t get a chance to be seen or heard, to tell their own story.”

Carmen Mitchell was taken to the hospital and treated for hypothermia. Her daughter said she can’t wait to meet “Creature” and her owner.

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