Dog watches over friend trapped in pit for nearly a week

Tillie & Phoebe

Two dogs in Vashon, Washington have finally made it home after being lost in the woods for a week. Tillie, a Setter, and Phoebe, a Basset Hound, were reported missing by their owners shortly after Labour Day. Volunteers from Vashon Island Pet Protectors (VIPP) searched the woods for the poor pets, but went days without seeing either dog. It wasn’t until a community member called VIPP to let them know that a reddish dog had been appearing on their property and then retreating back into the woods that the owners became hopeful.

Using the community member’s location as a starting point, the search party worked their way through the woods and called for the dogs. The search was described on the VIPP Facebook page:

“With a needle in the haystack hope we made our way into the cistern and after a bit of searching, finally heard that sweet sound [we’d] been waiting for all week—a small one-woof response when we called out ‘Tillie.'”

Photo courtesy of VIPP/Facebook

They quickly found Tillie standing next to an old cistern, and instantly knew that Phoebe would be in it.

“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.”

Luckily, when they looked over the edge they saw Phoebe standing safely on a pile of rocks. It then became clear that Tillie had stood by her friend the entire time, only leaving the basset hound to try and find help. Both dogs were cold and hungry, but otherwise safe.

The VIPP volunteers were blow away by Tillie’s dedication: “A round of applause to the awesome and amazing Miss Tillie. A true friend and a humbling example of the power of love.”