It’s amazing how emotionally intelligent and caring dogs can be, especially around children. Some parents worry how their dogs and babies will interact, but in most cases dogs prove to be both loyal protectors and gentle playmates to their young humans.
That’s never been truer than one remarkable story, where an elderly dog defied his limitations to heroically save a toddler’s life
In April 2018, a 3-year-old named Aurora went missing in the bushland of Queensland, Australia. The vast and difficult terrain made the search nearly impossible.
“The area around the house is quite mountainous and is very inhospitable terrain to go walking in,” State Emergency Service area controller Ian Phipps told ABC. “The search was actually quite hard where the volunteers and the police were, amongst the very steep slopes full of lantana and other vegetation.”
Hours passed. The afternoon turned to night, and the situation seemed dire. It was cold and rainy, and Aurora wasn’t dressed for the weather.
But luckily, Aurora wasn’t alone after all: she was with her dog, Max—a 17-year-old deaf and partially blind blue heeler.
Max stayed with Aurora all night, keeping her safe and warm as she slept by his side.
Not only that, Max saved the day by alerting the family to their location.
Aurora’s grandmother Leisa Bennett heard her granddaughter’s cry from the mountain and headed toward her. On the way, she found Max, who led her to the exact location, saving her from searching through the terrain.
“When I heard her yell ‘Grammy’ I knew it was her,” Leisa said. “I shot up the mountain … and when I got to the top, the dog came to me and led me straight to her.”
Amazingly, they found her just in time before she suffered any negative health effects from the exposure.
“She’s a very hardy young lass to survive that without any ill effects and everyone, all the volunteers are extremely happy,” Ian Phipps told ABC.
It makes you wonder how things might’ve been different if Max had not been there, both to protect her overnight and reveal her location.
“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,” Leisa said.
Despite not being able to hear or see very well, Max stepped up to save the day and was rightly hailed as a hero. The Queensland Police even dubbed him an honorary police dog.
SUCH A GOOD BOY, MAX! He stayed with his 3-year-old human who was lost near Warwick last night while we frantically searched for her. For keeping her safe, you're now an honorary police dog. 🐶https://t.co/QiszGFP4gg via @ABCNews pic.twitter.com/xxRc6ndeaK— Queensland Police (@QldPolice) April 21, 2018
It’s a reminder that dogs are capable of incredible things, even the ones who are old and impaired. Thank you, Max, for saving the day!