national

Lost 81-yr-old man, granddaughter, 3, kept warm by their dog until rescued

49 Comments

An 81-year-old man and his granddaughter, 3, were located Wednesday after they were reported missing in Naie town in Hokkaido, local officials said Thursday. Rescuers found the twosome along with a family dog that had kept them warm overnight, TV Asahi reported.

The man and child apparently were driving to an unknown destination on Tuesday afternoon to take their 7-year-old Labrador Retriever, named Junior, for a walk, when their car went off the road and fell several meters down a snowy embankment, TV Asahi reported.

Police said it snowed throughout the night and the temperature fell to -3.8 Celsius. The man told police that they remained in the overturned car. The engine wouldn't start, so they kept their bodies close to the dog to maintain warmth.

A search party found them just before noon on Wednesday. They were suffering from slight frostbite, TV Asahi reported.

The man’s wife told reporters that she attributed their safe rescue to the dog.

© Japan Today

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

49 Comments
Login to comment

Well, it's an absolute delight to read some good news for a change. I am so glad this trio of travelers were found warm and alive!

9 ( +9 / -1 )

Good job doggie!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

It is wonderful that they are now safe.

6 ( +5 / -0 )

Great story! Super dog!

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Give that dog a bone!

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Did the dog keep them warm, or did the dog decide to stay because it was warmer if he stayed with them?

Either way, a nice bit of news to warm the heart.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Keeping warm by dogs is pretty common, in some areas of the world harsh winters were measured by how many dogs(sled-dogs) you needed to take into your bed to survive a night.

Still some great and heart-warming news.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Give that dog a sack of bones!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Wow glad they were found. Was the car just off the road? It may have been unsafe to start it. Glad it was just one night with this crazy weather we are having now around the world.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Hokkaido may be the only place in Japan undeveloped enough where you can actually get "lost"... I've been to Naie and the surrounding area and it is pretty inaka..

Glad it was just one night with this crazy weather we are having now around the world.

Snow and -3.8 C is nothing crazy for Hokkaido. What WAS crazy was last week's beautiful warm sunny days. Now, let it snow!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

No cell phone?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

With a real dog like a lab, that works. Wouldn´t have happened with one of those Chihuahua toy dogs that people around here walk around with...

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Good story. A lot nicer to read this than the stories about perverts, child murders, and the other nuts that usually make up the Japanese news.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

A wonderful dog. Best friend of mankind (besides cat). Another instance, where we can understand, why we all love them like family members. The story leaves me with a warm feeling in my heart...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Maitake,

you can get lost in the Japan Alps. Happened to me several times out on my mountain bike. I always carried a compass so I could find my way back. But it can very scary especially when dark is coming.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Glad they didn't prematurely eat the dog!

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Not too sure, but sure that dog was great saved the 2 humans, but I know this would be the last time I would let my kids go out for any drives with granpa! And maybe better for granpa to STOP DRIVING, like ASAP! Take the dog and walks real close to your farm up there in Hokkaido, this time they were lucky but next time??

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

No cell phone?

No signal? No battery charge? Not working after accident? Disappeared after accident? Left at home by mistake?

Yeah, I'm really sure the old guy had it with him and didn't think to use it.....

2 ( +4 / -2 )

And maybe better for granpa to STOP DRIVING, like ASAP!

We need to go further. Old people should be banned from leaving the house. They're a menace to everyone, because if anything goes wrong it is definitely, positively their fault. They're never a victim of circumstance....

Seriously, what is it about some people and those over the age of 70? Why is it that if you're of a certain age people will assume you're a menace to society?

Young people cause far more traffic accidents around the world through dangerous driving, but I don't see anyone proposing that those under the age of 30 be banned from driving.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Nice dog, but I think everyone kept each other warm

1 ( +1 / -0 )

another reason why dogs are better than cats!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

why we all love them like family members.

Not like family members. They are family members.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I think he didn't expect it to snow that much, the roads were bad. We had 70cm up here. The dog was very cute too. Heartwarming story.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

There are many locations in Hokkaido where cell phones don't work.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Nice story. A bit old to be taking a 3 year old girl for a ride in the car. Not sure he is in top physical condition but I'm glad all turned out well. Hurray for all of them and yes, give the dog a giant bone the chew on, he (or she?) deserves it! Way to go!!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

81 year old man,3 years old girl,question was,who was driving,the dog,it seems the smartest.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The granddad didn't have a cell phone. The snow came down very quickly.

They went off the road and turned over, breaking windows in the car.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The truth is nice enough and in fact better than the force fed fiction of the headline manufactured for dramatic effect. They all kept eachother warm, and take one creature out of the equation, it might not have worked. Each is a hero to the other.

And keeping to reality, I have question the wisdom of having an 81 year old man in charge of a 3 year old driving down the road when snow has fallen already.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Gogogo, the normal body temperature for dogs is between 101 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit, compared to 97.6 to 99.6 degrees Fahrenheit for humans. My dog sleeps by my feet not to stay warm; he just likes the smell (cheese?). I appreciate the warmth.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This proves again that a dog is a man's best friend.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

81yr old man in Japan is sprightly, what with the predominantly fish, rice & miso diet. I'm sure he must have done it many times so it was just a freak accident that ended well. Good thinking, grandpa!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

What's with all the ageism? I've met some very tuned in people in their 80s and some much younger idiots. It's just a number. My 76 year old dad was side swiped this summer by a driver who was 80 - the older guy seemed really doddery, but he may have been that way for 10 years - my dad, on the other hand, is in great shape, and probably will be for a while yet.

Is there an age in Japan at which you have to have a medical before you can renew your license? Anyway, great story, nice to read some good news.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Good stuff! A somewhat off-beat comment, but you should never put a coat on your dog! You could kill it through overheating.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Good story, I needed a cheer.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Hokkaido may be the only place in Japan undeveloped enough where you can actually get "lost"... I've been to Naie and the surrounding area and it is pretty inaka..

Believe me, there are many mountainous areas in Japan where you can get "lost". It's better to take all precautions when going for hiking in remote areas.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Give that dog a steak!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

A somewhat off-beat comment, but you should never put a coat on your dog! You could kill it through overheating.

Depends on the conditions and on the dog. My short-haired fondly-missed Dobie appreciated her padded jacket in winter, while our present thick-coated Shiba would as soon take your hand off as let anyone dress him up.

And laguna is right - the higher dog body temperature probably made all the difference. A little kid and an elderly man alone would have trouble keeping warm together.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

No signal? No battery charge? Not working after accident? Disappeared after accident? Left at home by mistake?

Yeah, I'm really sure the old guy had it with him and didn't think to use it.....

Well then...save that cell phone use for the city. If anything a cell phone should be an essential item to carry out in the boondocks. Don`t need one in the city where there are countless payphones.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Brilliant news, made my day!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

"We named the dog Indiana!"

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I'm glad they are OK

But they got lucky.

From the details of the ordeal, it seems the brave pair did not have a mobile phone or cell signal coverage. Wow this is amazing, because a typical Japanese on the mainland would most surely fall into a coma as soon as they become separated from their mobile phones or receive a cell signal strength of 2 bars or less. "I have been severed from the collective [mailing friends], I guess I don't have anything to do now than shut myself down!"

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

go super pooch!! keeping your grandpas and 3 yrs old girls toasty and warm! =3

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Just one question regarding the headline: Were they really "lost" or just in an accident? If they were actually lost, then the argument against the 81-year-old driver holds a bit more water. If they were just in an accident but the driver knew where they were, then they became "missing", not "lost".

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yesterday on the TV NEWS here in Japan they should were the car went off the road into some field and the car ended upside down, the old guy could not turn on the engine, let alone try to drive away, and all this because he wanted to take his dog to a real nice new place for a good walk, granpa loves taking the dog for a walk, very sweet, but NOT IN HEAVY SNOW and NEVER WITH SUCH A YOUNG CHILD, and come to think of it NO DOG SHOULD BE PUT OUT IN THAT WEATHER, maybe granpa can just go out for a walk all by himself next time.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Wonderful story ! I saw it on TV last night but didn't receive the Evening edition of JT until this morning...

In spite of being a Labrador Retriever, my dog does NOT like rain - so that's the ONLY time he actually asks me to put on the coat that was given to him by the kennels (where he usually stays when I go back to the old country for the holidays). There may be circumstances like Cleo's "Dobie" where the dog actually appreciates being "dressed up" however, dogs are NOT humans and dressing them up, skirts and shirts with sunglasses maybe fun for the owners but it's a BIG mistake and it is definitely no fun for the dogs.

I guess saving Aramis from going to the "pound" was even better than I imagined ! He may just save me one day !

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Sorry, but I still say this old geezer is well...too old for his own good and should stay away from cars and STAY AWAY from driving his grand kids out in snow storms!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

81 year still drives...good if drives off Road ..... a young fellow takes lot of driving lessons and difficult written test and a road test to get pass drivers licenses. I can not understand The Law...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Sir, It is touching to see the dog's behaviour and all of us the human beings should hang our head in shame. We fight like street dogs, bark like dogs and end up losing our lives. We have to remove the word "dont bark like dogs" word from our dictionary. All of us learnt to live for others.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Sassarma, very touching words indeed! Sometimes it is sad but true, some dogs are nicer and friendlier than many of the nutcases we meet here on the trains of Tokyo, or NYC etc..how about removing DOG EAT DOG from the dictionary too??

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites