A missing 2-year-old in Paw Paw, Mich. went missing earlier this week. Luckily the story ended with a happy ending as police found the child unharmed and credits the family dog for the assist.

WWMT reports that Princeton Peake managed to escape his locked home on Wednesday (June 20) and wandered through several acres of muddy land. The mud actually ended up being a good thing since the boy’s dog, a pit-boxer mix named Apollo, stayed by his side the entire time. Van Buren County authorities were able to track Apollo’s paw prints which led them to Princeton’s location.

The boy’s father, Domonic Peake, went through a terrifying experience during those three hours that his son was missing.

“First thing I thought was he’s face down in some water,” Peake told WWMT. “I thought I was never going to see him again. There’s lakes back there, there’s ponds over here. Ran down the drive, but I actually came across his footprints leading into the field. So, I immediately called the police. They had to try and calm me down when I made the call. I was crying, I could barely talk.”

Princeton only received minor scratches and mosquito bites. Apollo received a special gift from the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department in the form of hundreds of pounds of food and treats as a thank you for his key assistance.

“I was actually sitting at home last night thinking what could I do for this dog because we give awards out to good citizens and things like that,” Van Buren County Sheriff Daniel Abbott said. “Appreciation for what that dog did yesterday.”

Photo credit: Franque Thompson, Twitter (@FranqueThompson)