When a three-year old wandered off alone in the Australian bush, an aging dog played the role of hero by sticking by her said and leading the search party to her location.
Friday afternoon, a three-old girl named Aurora was reported missing after disappearing into a wooded area in Queensland, Australia. A search that turned up nothing.
Unbeknownst to anyone, Aurora did not spend the night alone. Max, a 17-year old blue heeler who is deaf and partially blind, followed Aurora into the woods, sticking with her every step of the way.
When the search resumed Saturday morning, Leisa Bennett, Aurora’s grandmother, could hear Aurora’s faint cries. As she followed Aurora’s voice, she first found Max, who quickly led her to Aurora at the top of a mountain.
“When I heard her yell ‘Grammy’ I knew it was her,” Bennett said. “I shot up the mountain … and when I got to the top, the dog came to me and led me straight to her.”
Aurora was still on her family’s property but ended up more than a mile from her house. She endured a cold, wet night outside, but slept with Max right by her side.
“The area around the house is quite mountainous and is very inhospitable terrain to go walking in,” explained Ian Phipps of State Emergency Services. “She’d travelled quite a distance with her dog that was quite loyal to her.”
Despite traversing rough terrain and spending the night outside, Aurora was fine aside from a few minor cuts. Both her family and the more than 100 volunteers who took part in the search were relieved she was found safe and sound.
“I think (Aurora) was a bit overwhelmed by the tears and the howling,” Bennett said of the rescue. “But I explained to her how happy those tears were. It could have gone any of 100 ways, but she’s here, she’s alive, she’s well and it’s a great outcome for our family.”
To thank him for his role in keeping Aurora safe, Queensland Police have made Max an honorary police dog.