Partially blind dog saves toddler lost on mountain

A barefoot three-year-old girl spent a night alone with her family's dog on top of a mountain after wandering off from her grandmother's home.

Aurora Kyle disappeared on Friday evening, ending up on top of the Cherry Gully peak - 25km south of Warwick in rural Queensland, with nothing but partially blind but loyal cattle dog Max to keep her warm.

After her worried grandmother Leisa Bennett raised the alarm, strangers and indigenous trackers came from as far away as Stanthorpe to search for the girl.

She was eventually found after the dog guided Ms Bennett to her granddaughter who had been missing for 15 hours.

"The dog came to my feet and I thought, 'Oh my god, I found the dog.' The dog led me straight to her," Ms Bennett told 7 News.

A relieved group of searchers hugged one another after Aurora who had no food or water, was eventually found.

The search party had been temporarily suspended at 1:30am on Saturday morning and commenced again at sunrise.

"You watch SES and police leave and you think, 'Oh my god she's out there in the dark, a three-year-old'," Ms Bennett said.

The search party had become increasingly concerned for the girl's safety due to the giant size of the property - complete with several dams and a steep, woody mountain.

Running out of ideas, her uncle sat on a stump and tried thinking through the mind of his niece. He made the impulse decision to head in the opposite direction to rescue party.

Leisa Bennett and Max, the hero dog.
Leisa Bennett and Max, the hero dog. Photo credit: 7 News

"I was yelling out to her and I thought I could hear her," Ms Bennett recalled.

Aurora saw the search lights of helicopters and heard people calling her name.

She told her grandmother the dog kept pulling towards the lights, revealing she had a "good sleep" together with Max, wearing just a T-shirt on a 13degC night.

"'I pulled him and we slept together... I had a good sleep,'" Ms Bennett recalls her granddaughter telling her.

Max is partially blind and deaf, and at 17, is two years older than the average life expectancy of cattle dogs.

"I don't think I'll ever doubt that dog ever again because he is a great little dog," uncle Jake Miller said.

7 News