Lost dog found keeping watch over trapped friend

"A true friend and a humbling example of the power of love," the Vashon Island Pet Protectors said.

By Ben Hooper
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PARADISE VALLEY, Wash., Sept. 18 (UPI) -- A Washington state animal rescue group said a pair of lost dogs were found with one of the canines keeping watch over its friend trapped in a cistern.

The nonprofit Vashon Island Pet Protectors group said it posted pictures of lost dogs Tillie, a setter, and Phoebe, a basset hound, to the group's Facebook page and received a tip Sept. 14 that a "reddish" dog matching Tillie's description had approached a person on their property several times before heading back into a ravine.


A follow-up Facebook post said VIPP volunteers searched the ravine and heard Tillie bark a response when they called her name.

The rescuers followed the bark and discovered Tillie "laying beside an old cistern with her head resting on the concrete wall," the Facebook post said.

"Heart sinking...we knew that meant Phoebe was inside the cistern and every breath was held and every doggie prayer offered that the peek over the rim would somehow find her safe," the group said.

The rescuers looked into the cistern and "gratefully" discovered Phoebe "perched on some concrete rubble that held her out of the water."


The group said both dogs were cold and hungry but otherwise healthy.

Officials said they believe Tillie kept watch over Phoebe for days, leaving for only a few minutes at a time to try to find help for the trapped basset hound.

"A true friend and a humbling example of the power of love," the post said.

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