Dog parent B.J. Duff was entertaining guests at a company party held in his Vashon, Washington home when his two dogs, an Irish setter-cocker spaniel mix named Tillie and a basset hound called Phoebe, ran off.
Because of the flurry of activity at the house, no one had thought to close the front door. The adventurous Phoebe decided to take this opportunity to do some outdoors exploring.
Tillie was more of a stay-at-home dog; Duft says that even if their gate were wide open, Tillie would still stay where she was. This time, though, she had no choice but to follow her furry best friend to make sure she didn’t get into any trouble.
Tillie was much older than Phoebe, which probably explains her protective big sister instinct toward the basset hound. In any case, the two dogs have never strayed far from each other since they first met and clicked instantly at a day care center for dogs.
Image credit: Vashon Island Pet Protectors on Facebook
Unfortunately, Tillie and Phoebe failed to find their way home at the end of the day after their outdoors stint. Their worried owner sought help from nonprofit animal rescue Vashon Island Pet Protectors (VIPP), but an entire week passed before they got a lead.
That lead came from Amy Carey, a member of the organization, who had received a call from a resident about a “reddish dog” who had been visiting his property for the last four or five days.
Whenever he tried to approach the dog, she would run off toward a ravine located behind his house.
VIPP volunteers arrived at the location. After minutes of searching for the dogs and calling out their names, they finally heard a soft bark in response. They found Tillie sitting beside a cistern, but Phoebe wasn’t beside her, which meant she was inside the reservoir.
Holding their breaths, the volunteers peeked inside—and collectively sighed in relief. Phoebe was safe; she was sitting on a pile of rubble that kept her above the water. Her devoted best friend Tillie had been watching over her the whole week, only leaving her side to get help.
The setter mix and the basset hound were starving after spending a week in the ravine, so their fur dad celebrated their return with a delicious hamburger dinner. They were otherwise unscathed and wanted to play and rest as soon as they finished eating.
Duft adds that he already ordered GPS collars for his two fur babies so that they would never go missing again.
Watch Tillie and Phoebe’s bond in the video below:
Source: ABC News