Loyal Dog Stands Guard over Trapped Friend for a Week


When two Washington State dogs went missing from their home, their owners did everything they could to try to find Tillie, a setter, and Phoebe, a basset hound, but were beginning to give up hope. Despite help from the local animal welfare organization, Vashon Island Pet Protectors (VIPP), no sign of the dogs could be found.


What the dogs’ worried parents didn’t know was that Tillie had been standing watch over her companion for an entire week after Phoebe fell into an old cistern and couldn’t get out. Tillie only left Phoebe’s side to try to get help from people she’d seek out nearby.


Concerned people reported to VIPP that they were seeing a reddish dog that was repeatedly coming up to them, and then running back to a wooded ravine. VIPP volunteers went out to investigate, and saw Tillie near the cistern. When they looked inside, they found poor Phoebe, who luckily was able to perch on some rubble above the water below.


Based on the amount of time the dogs were missing and the different sightings of Tillie, the rescuers believe Tillie stood guard over Phoebe for a full week, only leaving to try to get help. The dogs were miles from their last known location, and searchers had not been looking in this area. If not for the vigilance and devotion of Tillie, this happy story could have easily had a much sadder ending.


To learn more about the remarkable story of Tillie and Phoebe, click HERE.



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  • Aaron Seminoff
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