Dog Stands Guard For A Week Until Trapped Friend Found

Here’s a two-hankie story that illustrates the devotion dogs have to each other.

Vashon Island Pet Protectors says Tillie, a setter, and Phoebe, a Basset Hound, were missing for a week. They posted photos on Facebook in hopes that someone would spot the dogs.

VIPP volunteers had been helping search for the dogs and on Monday they got a call from a someone reporting that for a few days when they were out on their property, a “reddish” dog had been coming up to them and then promptly headed back into a ravine.

Amy Carey with VIPP said with a needle in the haystack hope, volunteers made their way into the ravine and after a bit of searching, finally heard the sweet sound they had been waiting for all week: a small one-woof response when they called out “Tillie.”

A few minutes later they found her lying beside an old cistern with her head resting on the concrete wall.

“They knew that meant Phoebe was inside the cistern and every breath was held and every doggie prayer offered that the peek over the rim would somehow find her safe,” said Carey.

“And it was a time we have a happy ending with dear Phoebe found perched on some concrete rubble that held her out of the water,” she said. “For nearly a week Tillie stayed by her side with the exception of the few minutes of each day when she went for help.”

Both dogs were cold and hungry but are doing well.

Carey said not only does it show how amazing doggie bonds are, it’s a good reminder that when people lose their dogs, they need to keep looking.

“Hope is an awfully hard thing to keep open and alive in the face of heartbreak, but it so important for happy endings for missing pets - or even for unhappy endings with closure,” she said.

“My message to most people with missing dogs is that unless the dog is being seen periodically, it is likely stuck somewhere and that when stuck, even the most loyal and people-oriented dogs won’t make a sound - even to an owner calling from a few feet away,” said Carey. “That’s where the amazing Miss Tillie steps in as the heroine of this story. Not sure Phoebe would have ever been found without her as they were miles from the last place spotted.”