17-Year-Old Deaf Dog Saves Little Girl Lost in Australian Bush

Max, a blue heeler dog, is 17 years old (which, according to a common equation, is about 119 in human years!), and like many dogs who live that long, he’s deaf and partially blind.

But that didn’t stop Max from following his owner’s granddaughter, three-year-old Aurora Kyle, when she wandered into the Australian bush one recent afternoon.

Max never left the little girl, who was barefoot and wearing a tee shirt, as she became lost on April 20. With the old dog right by her side, Kyle walked over a mile from her grandparents’ house, meandering through a valley and even managing to climb up a steep mountain with dense vegetation.

That’s where the two spent the night. Max cuddled up next to Kyle, keeping her warm as it began raining and the temperature dropped to a chilly 59 degrees.

Meanwhile, a frantic search for Kyle involving about 100 family members, friends, volunteers, Queensland police officers, helicopters and indigenous trackers was underway.

“You’re just there thinking she’s out there somewhere in the dark, a 3-year-old baby — it’s so disheartening … your mind goes to all sorts of dark places,” Kyle’s grandmother, Leisa Bennett, told the Warwick Daily News.

After a sleepless night, early the next morning Bennett thought she could faintly hear Kyle yelling, “Grammy!”

“I shot up the mountain … and when I got to the top, the dog came to me and led me straight to her,” Bennett told ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) News.

Kyle was “scratched and covered in burs and smelling like the dog,” Bennet told the Warwick Daily News. Despite the little girl’s 15-hour-long ordeal, she had no major injuries, and Max is also just fine.

“The area around the house is quite mountainous and is very inhospitable terrain to go walking in, so she’d traveled quite a distance with her dog that was quite loyal to her,” Ian Phipps of State Emergency Services told ABC News. “The search was actually quite hard where the volunteers and the police were, amongst the very steep slopes full of lantana and other vegetation.”

Phipps said Kyle is “a very hardy young lass to survive that without any ill effects: – and the same definitely goes for Max, who’s being treated like the hero dog he is.

For helping to save Kyle, the Queensland Police Force has made Max an honorary police dog. Although Kyle is only three years old, I have a feeling she’ll remember her hero Max for the rest of her life.

As Max has proven that dogs can be heroes at any age. If you’re thinking about adding a four-legged family member, here are 10 really good reasons why you should adopt a senior pet.

Related at Care2

Photo credit: Queensland Police Service/Facebook


Marie W
Marie W6 months ago

Thank you

Leila Mota
Leila Mota11 months ago


Janis K
Janis K11 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

Leo C
Leo C11 months ago

Thank you for sharing!

Myla D
Myla D11 months ago

I wish humans were as amazing as dogs (and cats)!
The compassion animals have is just beautiful. And to think there r ppl who still believe animals have no souls. And r below humans. Shame on who ever thinks or thought that. Read this beautiful story!!

Jaime J
Jaime J11 months ago

Thank You!!

David C
David C11 months ago


Marie Squire
Marie Squire11 months ago

thank-you, for this post

Janis K
Janis K11 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

Amanda M
Amanda McConnell11 months ago

Thanks for sharing