Dog Spends One Week Guarding Trapped Friend Until Help Arrives

Dogs are renowned for their loyalty, but this golden retriever's dedication saved her best friend's life.

Credit: Vashon Island Pet Protectors

Credit: Vashon Island Pet Protectors

Too often the intelligence and awareness of animals is dismissed; we’ve covered that many times before on TrueActivist. And although man would like to declare himself the most intelligent and worthy, there are many lessons to be learned from the silent and humble creatures we share this planet with.

When Tillie the golden retriever and Phoebe the basset hound set off to explore the woods together and didn’t return, their owners, who live on Vashon Island, became very worried. They quickly contacted Vashon Island Pet Protectors who, after five days, posted a lost dog notice to their Facebook.

Credit: BoredPanda

Credit: BoredPanda

Little did they know that Phoebe had fallen into a cistern deep in a remote ravine several miles away and was unable to escape. If Tillie hadn’t done what she did next, the hound probably would have died.

After receiving word from a stranger that Tillie had been sighted on their property seemingly trying to draw human attention, VIPP volunteers set out to investigate. 

“We had been out looking for about a week when we heard from a farmer here who noticed a reddish dog on his property,” volunteer Amy Carey told The Dodo. “She had quietly approached him, and when she got his attention, turned around and headed back toward this ravine nearby. I decided to go check it out.” 


Credit: Vashon Island Pet Protectors

According to the volunteer:

“When I got there and looked down, Tillie saw me but didn’t come running up. 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.”

Like the cows responsible for saving a baby seal’s life, this amazing display of loyalty and compassion is both inspiring and humbling.

“When I saw what was happening, tears were immediate. It was just so touching,” she noted.

Both dogs had been in good health, as they had avoided dehydration by drinking rainwater. No words were needed to see just how happy they were to have finally been found.


Credit: Vashon Island Pet Protectors

“Once they got out, they were happy as clams. Tillie was so relieved. When the owner came to get them, they heard his voice in the distance, you could just see their relief. They just started wiggling,” said Carey. “It was very touching, but in a way not surprising given what we know about dogs as loyal friends. We were just so very grateful to find them safe.”

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