Old Dog Watches Over Trapped Buddy for a Week Until Help Arrives

Old friends make the best friends, and for two Washington state dogs named Tillie and Phoebe, that is especially true. Could this pair teach us all something about the true meaning of loyalty?

The dogs made a quick escape from their home a week ago when a door was left ajar during a party. What began as a mischievous adventure soon turned to misery when Phoebe, a 4-year-old Basset Hound, made her way into a cistern and simply couldn’t climb back out.

Eleven-year-old Irish setter mix Tillie, who is considerably taller than her pal, tried several times to go for help but to no avail. Tillie would sleep perched above Phoebe and wait with her throughout each day, leaving only briefly to try to find human aid. Phoebe was indeed in great danger but she was never alone in her ordeal. Her best friend simply refused to abandon her.

Residents witnessed Tillie running through a back yard several times over the course of the week, but they didn’t realize what was happening until a volunteer group called Pet Protectors put out a distress call on Facebook. Pet Protectors soon received a lucky tip from someone who had seen Tillie several times.

“With a needle in the haystack hope we made our way into the ravine, and after a bit of searching, finally heard that sweet sound we have been waiting for all week, a small one-woof response when we called out ‘Tillie,’” Pet Protectors posted on their Facebook page. ”For nearly a week Tillie stayed by her side with the exception of the few minutes of each day when she went for help.”


The dogs’ guardian B.J. Duft had been beside himself with worry during the ordeal and was relieved to learn that the dogs were still together.

“I was absolutely not surprised to learn that Tillie had stood by her side the whole time,” Duft said in an interview with ABC news. “She’s a very caring, loving and nurturing dog and the two of them are best friends.”

The dogs have an interesting history together. Tillie had been living with Duft since she was a puppy, but the two welcomed Phoebe into their home some time ago after the dogs became fast-friends at doggie daycare.

“They’re best pals — inseparable,” Duft said to ABC News.


Tillie and Phoebe are both back home and happy.

Neither of the dogs suffered any major health issues as a result of their ordeal and now that the two are back home, they’re facing significant penalties for their actions.

“Their ‘punishment’ was extra hamburger and a roast when they got home because I was so thrilled to see them,” Duft said as the two dogs rolled around on the living room floor.

Both dogs are now sporting new GPS enabled collars to ensure that they’ll never be lost again.

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Melania Padilla
Melania Padilla3 years ago


Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus3 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Quanta Kiran
Quanta Kiran3 years ago


Quanta Kiran
Quanta Kiran3 years ago


Esther Lance
Esther Lance3 years ago

Its so so sweet, brought tears to my eyes! Animals can, not only be almost human, sometimes better!

maria reis
maria reis3 years ago

Friends are great part of our lives.

marsha maxwell
marsha maxwwell3 years ago

What wonderful friends these 2 dogs are! So Inspiring!

Georgina Elizab McAlliste
.3 years ago

tghank you for sharing

Leia P.
Leia P.3 years ago

So sweet

Ans Weevers
Ans Weevers3 years ago

true friends