Aww-inspiring: Dog watched over trapped canine pal for a week until help came

© Sergio Perez
A group of volunteers from Vashon Island, Washington have managed to rescue two missing dogs, with the sole reason being that one of the canines stayed for a week near its trapped friend and scouted for help.

One of the dogs, which are said to be “inseparable,” guarded the other after it fell into a cistern filled with water, hidden deep in the woods. Tillie, a reddish setter, left Phoebe, a basset hound, for no more than 10 minutes each day only to seek help and then run back to her friend. 

MISSING DOGS FOUND!!! HOORAY FOR TILLIE...and a HUGE HANKIE ALERT. We are overjoyed to report that after being missing...

Posted by Vashon Island Pet Protectors ( on 14 сентября 2015 г.

“For nearly a week Tillie stayed by her side with the exception of the few minutes of each day when she went for help,” Vashon Island Pet Protectors, a non-profit organization that deals with the specific type of emergencies in the area, wrote on their Facebook page. 

The best buds went for a walk on September 7 when the front door of the house they lived in happened to be open since there was a party, the dog owner B.J. Duft told ABC News.

“Tillie would never leave even if the gate was left open, but she's best friends with Phoebe, and so when Phoebe follows her little Basset Hound nose, Tillie always goes with her to make sure she's OK,” Duft explained.

READ MORE: Guide dog throws itself in front of oncoming school bus to save blind owner

The dogs had been lost for a week until Amy Carey of VIPP, which had helped the owner with searching, received a call from a local resident September 14, who said he may have spotted the reddish dog on his property. It had turned up there several times but rushed back to the woods before the caller could do anything to help.

“It turned out the dog was Tillie trying to get help for Phoebe, who had gotten stuck,” Carey said, ABC News reports.

The search group quickly located the missing friends with one of them sitting on a pile of concrete rubble at the bottom the cistern and the other lying not so far away.

Vets said that both dogs, despite having been cold and hungry for a week, are perfectly fine. They came back home to a “hamburger” grand dinner, hung out on a couch, and then got some long-needed sleep, the owner said.

“A round of applause to the awesome and amazing Miss Tillie. A true friend and a humbling example of the power of love,” Carey concluded in the Facebook post.

This real-life “incredible journey” has now gone viral with more than 10,000 likes on Facebook.