Photo Credit: Facebook/Vashon Island Pet Protectors
Tillie the dog is being hailed as a hero for watching over his canine best friend, Phoebe, for an entire week after the pair strayed from their home on Vashon Island in Washington State, and Phoebe fell into a cistern.
The dogs escaped out the front door when it was left ajar on September 7, their owner B.J. Duft told ABC News, adding that he was hosting a party at the time and there was a lot of going in and out.
“Tillie would never leave even if the gate was left open, but she’s best friends with Phoebe, and so when Phoebe follows her little Basset Hound nose, Tillie always goes with her to make sure she’s OK,” Duft explained. “They’re best pals — inseparable.”
He added the heroic dog is an 11-year-old Irish Setter and Spaniel mix that he’s had since she was a puppy and that Phoebe was 4, adopted two years ago after the pair hit it off at a doggie daycare.
They’d been lost for a week when Amy Carey of the nonprofit pet rescue group, Vashon Island Pet Protectors, got a helpful call this past Monday.
Carey told the news station, “A community member said he saw a dog for the past few days coming up to his property, come up near him but not all the way, and then go back down a trail to a ravine behind the house. It turned out the the dog was Tillie trying to get help for Phoebe, who had gotten stuck.”
Carey immediately went to investigate, and there Phoebe was, stuck in the cistern down the ravine. But the most amazing thing of all, she said, was that Tillie was standing guard just above it, watching Phoebe, and she never left her side, except when she went up to the man’s house to try and get help for her.
After Carey called the the dog’s owner to tell him what she found, there were said to be lots of “tears and hugs” at the happy reunion. And while the dogs were starving and exhausted, they were otherwise in good health.
The owner added that he already has a “GPS dog collar ordered and on its way” and that he “never wants to lose them again.”