A 17-year old, deaf, and mostly blind Blue Heeler named Max spent more than 15 hours in the treacherous Australian bushland keeping a lost 3-year old little girl safe and ultimately leading rescuers to her location.
Three-year-old Aurora was reported missing about 3:00pm Friday when she wandered away from her Queensland, Australia home. The toddler’s family searched their rural property for hours but could not find her.
By Saturday morning, more than 100 volunteers, Good Samaritans, and emergency workers had joined in the search.
Around 8:00am, Aurora’s grandmother, Leisa Bennett, heard the toddler’s voice from the top of a mountain and headed in that direction – that’s where she was met by Max, the family’s 17-year old deaf and partially blind Blue Heeler.
“I shot up the mountain … and when I got to the top, the dog came to me and led me straight to her,” Bennett said to ABC.net.au.
Aurora was found about 1.2 miles from home, after hero dog Max led the girl’s grandmother to her.
“The area around the house is quite mountainous and is very inhospitable terrain to go walking in, so she’d traveled quite a distance with her dog that was quite loyal to her,” SES area controller Ian Phipps added.
Aurora told her uncle that, during the long, cold night, she’d slept cuddled up to Max, the loyal and heroic senior dog that never left her side except to lead her grandmother to her location.
Aside from a few cuts and scratches, the toddler is doing well. And, for his heroic actions to protect his littlest human, Max was named an honorary police dog by the Queensland Police.