Dog Guards Trapped Mate for a Week Waiting for Someone to Rescue Her

Vashon Island Pet Protectors/Facebook
Vashon Island Pet Protectors/Facebook

For one of the most heartwarming stories of the week, two dogs that had been missing for over a week were found in an isolated place on Vashon Island near Seattle, Washington.

Their absence was finally explained when the pair were found with one dog stuck in a deep hole unable to get out, while her companion had been standing guard the entire time.

The dogs, a Basset hound named Phoebe and a Setter mix named Tillie, had been missing for some time, and the pups’ worried owners had nearly given up hope of ever seeing them again.

But after constant alerts sent on Facebook by a group named Vashon Island Pet Protectors (VIPP), the Setter was seen by some locals trotting out into the woods. When news of the sighting reached the owners, their hope was renewed.

Once VIPP heard of the sighting, a search party of dog lovers was sent out to comb the area.

It wasn’t long before the volunteers saw Tillie the Setter sitting quietly in the woods with her head on the concrete walls of an old cistern.

When the searchers got closer, they found Phoebe, weak and frightened, trapped inside the abandoned hole in the ground.

Rescuers then realized that Tillie had been standing guard over the fallen Phoebe, likely for most of the time the pair had been missing.

Calling the rescue a “huge hankie alert,” VIPP was overjoyed to announce that the dogs had been found.

Saying it was “a needle in the haystack hope,” the animal group was thrilled to report the “happy ending” when the dogs were found.

“For nearly a week,” the VIPP Facebook page reads, “Tillie stayed by [Phoebe’s] side with the exception of the few minutes of each day when she went for help,” said VIPP volunteer Amy Carey.

Hundreds of relieved supporters added their relief over the rescue and their thanks for all who never gave up hope for the safe return of the pups.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston, or email the author at


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