Minn. Woman, Emma Iverson, 79, Protected By Dog For 20 Hours After Fall

11/21/2011 03:23 pm ET | Updated Nov 21, 2011

WILLMAR, Minn. -- A Minnesota woman credits her survival of a 20-hour ordeal after a tumble outside to her faithful dog and a punctual mail carrier.

Seventy-nine-year-old Emma Iverson says she fell and couldn't get up outside her country home near Granite Falls in late September. Nobody heard her calls for help. After night fell, her dog, Crackers, repeatedly chased away the raccoons and coyotes that came around.

Eventually she fell asleep or lost consciousness. Postal carrier Stan Boushek arrived on schedule at 12:45 p.m. the next day and was just able to spot her from the end of her driveway. She spent nine days in a hospital but made a full recovery.