Child Takes Adventure With Dog - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

04/27/08 - Lufkin

Child Takes Adventure With Dog

 

The 6-year-old Lufkin boy who was missing Saturday night and into Sunday morning is safe and sound.   A.J. Bonacci certainly gave everyone a scare. He was discovered missing around 6:30 last night from his grandmother's Brookhollow home.   Within an hour, hundreds of neighbors, law enforcement officers and complete strangers had formed search parties. Their only clue was that A.J. was last seen with a dog. And that's how he was found. The child was sleeping with the dog about two miles away from the neighborhood.

Jeremy Klae, A.J.'s father said, " There was a search group coming from the area. Hank jumped up and started barking and kinda ran over there to 'em and they found A.J."    A.J says the dog kept cattle from chasing him. The duo was found in a pasture, curled up near a pump house.   The dog never left the boy's side. Rescuers said, "It was like the dog was trying to tell them, 'I have a boy here. Don't go away.'" Preparations were underway to call in a helicopter to aid in the search. Anna Bonacci,A.J.'s mom said,    " He's afraid of the dark. A.J. doesn't wander off. That's completely out of his character. I completely believe that A.J. was saved by Hank the cow dog."  

Hank's owners are Ronald Schaeffer and his son Jack. They are learning a lot about the Akita-Heeler mix that they've owned for a couple of years.   Ronald Schaeffer said,   " Just today I learned that he's really attune to smaller children like A.J. and his younger brother. I can see him alert to whatever they're doing. But Hank's just a good 'ol dog."  

The Schaeffer's are still deciding what to do about Hank's wanderings. They promise to let him visit A.J., but Hank left the neighborhood on a leash.

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