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How This Dog Saved His Friend’s Life

Vashon Island Pet Protectors

Image courtesy of Vashon Island Pet Protectors

If you’ve ever seen the 1993 film Homeward Bound and, like me, balled their eyes out at the end when the Golden Retriever fell into a ditch and almost didn’t make it home, you will find this real-life story out of Vashon, Washington equally — if not more — moving.

A few weeks ago, a dog was found alive a week after going missing — all thanks to her loyal friend who refused to leave her behind.

Tillie the golden retriever and Phoebe the basset hound were out for a walk, when Phoebe fell into a cistern in a ravine several miles from home and was unable to climb back out. For days, their owners scoured the 37-mile island in search of the two missing dogs to no avail.

That’s when they called Amy Carey, a volunteer with Vashon Island Pet Protectors, for help.

“We had been out looking for about a week when we heard from a farmer here who noticed a reddish dog on his property,” Carey told The Dodo.

Tillie had run to a nearby home and approached a man outside. When she got his attention, she turned around and ran back to the ravine.

Carey decided to go check it out.

“When I got there and looked down, Tillie saw me but didn’t come running up,” Carey said. “She just stayed near the edge of this cistern, pressed with her head as close as she could get. Had she run up, we might have never realized that Phoebe was down there. She just stayed put, making it so clear that I had to come to her so I would see her friend.”

Luckily, both pups are home safe now. But it wouldn’t have been possible had Tillie not stayed by her friend’s side.