When 3-year-old Aurora went missing in rough terrain, she had a guardian angel by her side to make it through the night and eventually lead rescuers to her — the family’s dog, Max.
The incident took place in Australia’s Queensland province, with the girl wandering off on her own into the woodland outside her family’s rural home. As ABC reported, a team of more than 100 volunteers launched a search for the girl, who remained missing overnight in cold and wet weather.
The rescuers first came across Max, the Australian Cattle Dog, close to three miles from the family’s home. Family members said the dog, who is 17 years old and is now deaf and partially blind, was able to lead the rescuers to the little girl.
Had the dog not been with Aurora, she may have suffered a very different fate, said local police controller Ian Phipps.
“The area around the house is quite mountainous and is very inhospitable terrain to go walking in, so she’d travelled quite a distance with her dog that was quite loyal to her,” he 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.”
The rescue may not be that unusual to those familiar with the Australian Cattle Dog. As Hills noted, the breed is known to be extremely intelligent and fiercely loyal to its owner. The breed is adept at rough terrain and used to keeping cattle safe in this same area, and has been known to show its herding behavior toward small children.
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This is not the first time a heroic dog has been in the news for saving a young child. Last year, a formerly abused dog given a second chance at life after being rescued from a shelter showed a “sixth sense” to its new owners one day. As the New York Post reported, the dog was anxious to go outside, so the new owners let the dog for a run. The dog then ran to a ditch, where it found a naked and freezing 3-year-old girl who had wandered away from her home.
The dog then ran to alert its new owner, who was working in the garage, and led him to the girl. The dog’s actions could very well have saved the life of the toddler, who was brought to safety without suffering any major injuries.
The girl who went missing in the Australian bush suffered some cuts and bruises, but was otherwise healthy after spending a night in the cold and wet wilderness, ABC reported. Max, the heroic dog who stayed by her side, was named an honorary police dog for keeping the girl safe, the report added.