Lost 7-Year-Old Cuddled With Dog To Stay Warm

(Memphis) A little boy missing for more than 14 hours after getting lost while walking his dog tells how he survived the cold, damp night with his dog.

His family, along with police and neighbors, searched all night Wednesday until they finally found 7-year-old Dominic Jeffries stuck in some bushes around the corner from his home.

“That’s just the worst, 14 and a half hours of my life, I wouldn’t want anyone to experience anything like that,” said Robbyne Manning of Cordova.

Manning, a former contestant on the reality show America’s Next Top Model, is now the legal guardian to 7-year-old Dominic and his 6-year-old sister, Chasity.

After Dominic got lost Wednesday, she said she’s not letting them out of her sight.

“I heard them calling my name. I was scared to come out,” said Dominic.

Dominic says when he saw blue lights from police, he thought that meant he was in trouble.

He and his playful dog Coco, took us back to where they were for all those hours in the cold.

“I was somewhere down here, but they couldn’t see me,” Dominic said, pointing to the area where he was.

He says Coco pulled him and he slipped behind a brushy wood retainer wall and couldn’t climb out.

He said he kept warm by cuddling up with the dog, but he noticed Coco was still cold.

Dominic says that’s when he took off his coat and put it on the dog, then took off his gloves and put them on his feet.

Dominic says he eventually let the dog off the leash, hoping he’d go get help.

Meanwhile, Dominic fell asleep and stayed there until officers spotted a big furry hat he had on.

“I don’t know where this kid gets his survival skills from but it’s just amazing,” said Manning.

Dominic learned a number of lessons that cold night.

One of them is that flashing police lights don’t always mean you’re in trouble.

Police even gave him his very own souvenir badge.

“They gave him the car number and everything. So, he said now when people need help, I got to go help them because I got my badge on,” Manning said with a laugh.