PRESCOTT, Wis. (WCCO) — It was an emotional reunion Sunday in Prescott, Wisconsin.

The parents of a 5-year-old boy, who went missing earlier this week, got a chance to thank the man and his dog who found him.

Scotty Meyer slipped out of his parent’s home on Tuesday and was missing for 21 hours.

Scotty has autism and does not speak.

Hundreds of people showed up to search for him, including Jason Moser and his dog Autumn from Ellsworth, Wis.

They found the boy in a wooded area, a half mile from his home on the morning of the Fourth of July.

Scotty’s mom says he’s feeling a lot better, he’s running and playing, but the evidence of his rough night in the woods is all over his body. He’s covered with hundreds of mosquito and tick bites.

The boy had 80 deer ticks on his body that nurses used a magnifying glass to remove.

“We are so fortunate that in the oppressive heat — he was just dehydrated and the bugs love him, he must be sweet,” his mother, Barb Meyer said.

Barb speaks lightly of the ordeal but the emotions of that day are still raw.

“There is a pain and a numbness, I think you could have cut me the morning of the fourth and I wouldn’t have felt it. I’m still not back to normal,” she said.

She and her husband Richard wrote a heartfelt thank you to her son’s rescuer and his loyal companion, Autumn.

“We believe God chose you as angels and we are so thankful,” she said.

The thoughtful words touched Moser — for him it was all about family.

He and his wife, Melissa, have two boys of their own.

“I can picture Liam being out there, same as Scotty was and there’s no way I couldn’t give up a minute to not go out there,” he said.

Moser says he’ll never forget the moment, hearing and seeing Scotty in the woods.

Scotty isn’t able to tell his parents what he went through, and while his mom says he’s slipping back into his old routine, he’s still not quite himself.

“Last night he was curled up with a blanket at our bedroom door,” she said. “He doesn’t want to fall asleep too far away from us.”

Barb says since this happened, people have asked her about using Project Lifesaver, a bracelet Scotty could wear that would track him if he got lost.

All three of their sons have autism, and when they’ve tried to use these bracelets, the boys have rubbed their skin raw because they are constantly trying to take them off.

Barb says Scotty slipped out of the house after following his older brother through the door and then snuck through the fence.

The door had been unlocked earlier in the day, because a repairman was working on the family’s air conditioner.

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