A three-year-old girl in rural Australia went missing last week near her grandparents’ house.  It turned out she went looking for her mom . . . took the family’s dog Max with her . . . and couldn’t find her way back.

Her family realized she was gone around 5:00 P.M. on Thursday.  Then it got dark.  So it prompted a massive search-and-rescue mission with two helicopters.  But they couldn’t find her, and she was gone all night.

Now, obviously there’s a lot of wildlife to worry about in Australia.  There are a million different things that can kill you there, let alone a three-year-old KID.  So her family was freaking out.

But fortunately, her grandmother found her TWO MILES from their house the next morning, about 16 hours after she’d gone missing.

And she was totally fine . . . possibly because the dog STAYED there and guarded her all night even though he’s 17 years old, deaf, and partially blind.

Apparently the girl wasn’t even traumatized by it.  She told her family it wasn’t a big deal.  She just got kind of tired, so she curled up with Max and took a nap.