There’s a good reason why people often refer to dogs as man’s best friend. They’re some of the most loyal, selfless, loving animals who would do anything to protect their families. Since humans first domesticated dogs over 30,000 years ago, they’ve remained some of our closest animal companions–and, at times, even a hero.
Today, people don’t just adopt dogs for protection but for love and friendship as well. Dogs can help relieve anxiety, depression, loneliness, and the general stress of daily life. They also get you out of the house and encourage you to exercise.
Plus, many breeds are lovely with children and make a beautiful addition to any family. In summary, dogs bring so much joy and meaning to life, making the hard times easier to bear. In life-threatening situations, they often rescue humans who need a helping hand (or paw, in this case). You’ve probably heard stories about dogs who save people from drowning or protect them from intruders during a break-in. If you’re lost in the woods, you can also count on our best friend to save the day.
That’s exactly what happened to two young girls who went missing in November 2022. The story could’ve ended much differently, but the family dog stayed with the girls throughout the harrowing ordeal. He made sure they made it out of the forest without a scratch.
Family Dog Keeps Sisters Safe While Lost in the Woods
What started as a fun adventure quickly became a nightmare for two sisters and their parents. One afternoon, Abigail Bourg, 7, and her four-year-old sister Cecilia went exploring in the woods behind their home. They’re no strangers to the dense Louisiana forest, so their parents initially didn’t think anything of it.
However, alarm bells went off when the girls didn’t return after a while. The girls’ parents, Justin and Mary Bourg, began frantically searching the forest for their missing daughters.
“I just start like running around the whole property — six acres — and that’s when I called [my husband] and said, ‘They’re gone,'” Mary Bourg said in an interview with CBS News.
However, they didn’t know then that the family Golden Retriever Artemis was keeping them safe. He’s now called a hero for sticking by the frightened girls while they waited for help to arrive. Artemis let the girls lay on his belly for comfort and support when they started getting tired.
He also helped first responders locate the missing girls by barking to get their attention. Police, neighbors, and other search team members looked for the girls for four hours. It might’ve taken them even longer if Artemis hadn’t made noise to alert the search team.
The girls had wandered more than a mile away from their home in Folsom, Louisiana. While they knew the woods well, getting lost in an overgrown forest didn’t take much. Thankfully, the story had a happy ending, thanks to the loyal family dog who protected his sisters.
But he kept the search team from getting too close to the girls. Mary told CBS News that when the police and neighbors found the two sisters, Artemis “wasn’t letting them by the girls.”
“He was circling them, growling at the people to protect them,” she said.
Though the search party came to help, Artemis didn’t know better and instantly went into “guard dog mode.” However, the girls later told their parents that the protective Golden Retriever got them lost!
“He’s got a free pass for a while,” Justin Bourg said. “I won’t be fussing at him for chewing up blankets and shoes.”
Other Times Dogs Came to the Rescue
1. A dog saved his owner, who fell from a ridge in California.
When a 53-year-old man fell 70 feet in Tahoe National Forest, his heroic dog saved his life. The California hiker fell from a steep ridge, breaking his hip and several ribs in the accident. Unfortunately, the man didn’t have a phone to call for help, only his loyal Border collie, Saul.
Thankfully, someone at his camp allowed him to use a phone and call 911. But his pup led volunteers to the injured man after a seven-hour search. According to rescuers, the dog ran to them in “true Lassie fashion” over 200 yards through thick brush and rough terrain. Saul led them back to his owner, lying in the dirt on a camouflage tarp.
The crew brought the man to a sheriff’s helicopter half a mile away, which airlifted him to a nearby hospital. Thankfully, his injuries weren’t life-threatening, and he reunited with his hero dog Saul the following day. He felt so grateful for his four-legged best friend and rewarded him with plenty of pets, dog treats, and a “well-deserved dinner.”
2. A golden retriever saved his mom from a snake bite.
When Paula Goodwin took her dogs for a walk, she was unpleasantly surprised to find a rattlesnake on the trail. However, her golden retriever pup Todd jumped out in front of her so the snake could not bite her. He endured the snake’s wrath instead, but thankfully, he survived the bite and became a hero.
3. One hero saved a 3-year-old girl from abuse.
A puppy named Peanut arrived at the Delta Animal Shelter in dire condition. Tragically, she’d come from an abusive home and suffered from broken legs and ribs. However, a loving family adopted her shortly after, and she got a second chance at life.
Everything came full circle when she helped a young girl escape abuse. The dog alerted her owner to a naked, cold, 3-year-old girl curled up in a ball. The man immediately wrapped her in a sweatshirt, brought her inside, and called 911. When first responders arrived, the little girl could only say one word — ‘doggie.’
Final Thoughts on Heroic Dogs Saving Lives
Not all heroes wear capes, but they deserve just as much credit as Superman. Countless times, dogs have come to rescue humans in life-threatening situations. When two girls went missing in a Louisiana forest, their dog stuck with them until help arrived. The family and first responders now call Golden Retriever Artemis a hero due to his bravery and nobility. Do you have a personal story about your dog coming to the rescue? Please share your story with us in the comments!