A 17-year-old Australian Cattle Dog named Max saved the life of a young girl lost in the mountains of Queensland, Australia last week. The good, old boy found his young human, settled her down, then sought out help despite being partially blind, totally deaf, and, well, a dog. The animal is now being celebrated around Australia for its feat of kindness and courage.
The 3-year-old girl Max found was named Aurora. She had gone missing after wandering away from her grandmother’s house. Police and the little girl’s family had scoured the landscape near the house, but come up empty. Seemingly Max had done the same. And the dog refused to stop looking. A day after Aurora was reported missing, her grandmother heard her voice in the distance. She and rescuers came running and found Max, who took them to the child, who he had apparently shepherded back towards her home.
“The dog camped with her,” Aurora’s grandmother’s partner explained to a local television station.
Aurora had some minor injuries but was healthy. Max was tired, but also unharmed. For his loyalty and goodness, the local police department made Max an honorary police dog.
Max’s breed probably had a lot to do with his ability to accompany the girl and lead rescuers to her. “Blue Heelers” are some of the smartest family dogs on the planet. They rank 10th in terms of obedience trainability according to Stanley Coren’s book, The Intelligence of Dogs, and have an international reputation for tireless work ethic. They were bred to spend most of their time outdoors chasing after stray cattle so finding Aurora and bringing her back probably felt like second nature to Max.
Thank goodness for that. Also, thank goodness for dogs.