Dog rewarded for keeping man, girl warm in overturned car

The government of the town of Naie, Hokkaido, has awarded Junior, a 7-year-old male Labrador Retriever for keeping his 81-year-old master and his 3-year-old granddaughter warm in an overturned car during a freezing night last week.

Junior was given a collar with a gold medal and some dog food during an award ceremony held in the northern Japanese town yesterday, Kyodo news agency reported.

The owner, Yoshimasa Soma, took his granddaughter Sukai Kimura and Junior in his car from his home in Naie on the evening of November 15, saying he would walk the dog.

The car was later found lying on its side the following morning on a riverbed several meters below a road in the neighbouring town of Urausu.

Police officers found Junior cuddling up to the girl and licking her cheek in the car.

The man and the girl suffered only minor frostbite on their feet despite temperatures below zero outside and with the window of the car broken, the report said.

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