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James Delorey's dog, Chance, sits in the front passenger seat of the hearse carrying the boy's casket to church. (CBC)

The dog who stayed with seven-year-old James Delorey while he was lost in the woods near his Nova Scotia home four years ago has died.

Chance Delorey was the family pet.

The South Bar boy’s disappearance gripped the country in December 2009.

Chance stayed by James's side for two days before he went for help. Rescuers traced the dog's tracks in freezing conditions to find the boy.

James, who had autism and did not speak, was found huddled in an area of thick brush and snow about a kilometre from his home.

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James Delorey, 7, was found after spending two nights in the woods. He died in hospital hours later.

There was a deep impression in the snow beside James where Chance had curled up with the boy to keep him warm.

He died in hospital the day after his rescue.

Cape Breton Search and Rescue posted on its Facebook wall that Chance died around 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

He was inducted into the Purina Animal Hall of Fame.