Louie grew up among New Zealand’s nature, surrounded by wildlife, birds and the unique flora found in those fertile soils. Ever since he was a little pup, Louie would run around the farmland, herding sheep, and venturing out and exploring on his own. Some days, he wouldn’t come back until late at night, but he always made sure to be back around dinnertime. One day, Louie’s owners hadn’t heard from Louie for a while, so they started to get worried.
As Louie got older, his escapades around the farmland were few and far between. The pup was now thirteen years old, and he had slowly grown less adventurous due to his age. He still made sure to do a few runs across the farm, but he was more interested in lying on the grass, while he relaxed under the sun. But he took everyone by surprise one afternoon when he decided to venture out and leave, which raised some red flags.
Marolyn, who was Louie’s human mom, was a bit taken aback. It’s been years since she’s seen him move that fast. “what’s gotten into him?” she said to herself. As soon as he crossed the farm’s border, Louie vanished from everyone’s sight. What could’ve caught Louie’s attention to suddenly? The day went by, and Louie wasn’t returning home. Marolyn’s growing concern was started to escalate. Where was he?
It was a beautiful summer afternoon at Marolyn ‘s farmland. They were surrounded by nature, and wildlife, so it wasn’t uncommon to see mice, foxes, and hares running around the land. Back when Louie was a vibrant and energetic puppy, he used to disappear for hours, chasing after critters, digging under the bramble. Now she was starting to wonder, had he had lost his way, chasing after something?
Louie was no longer the vigorous, lively puppy that used to go on adventures every day. It seemed a little far-fetched to believe the thirteen-year-old dog would suddenly feel like wandering off, when he hadn’t done it in years. He loved nothing more than to lounge under the sun. All he needed was his porch and some food by his side. There was something off about Louie’s disappearance for sure.
What Marolyn didn’t know is that Louie wasn’t alone. There had been other pups who had gone missing that day too! Her neighbor Rob, who lived just down the road, realized his little terrier, Maddy, was nowhere to be seen. He started feeling a knot in his stomach when he noticed Maddy hadn’t come back, which was really unusual for her as she usually left for an hour or so. What could’ve happened to these two missing pups?
The sun began to set, and there was still no sign of Louie. Marolyn took a quick peek outside, hoping she’d see her beloved pup running back to her arms. She rattled Louie’s food bowl, hoping he’d hear it and come out from wherever he was hiding…if he was hiding at all. She let out a sigh, left the bowl there, and got back inside the house. Marolyn was now thinking of every potential scenario that could explain Louie’s disappearance.
As the night went on, Marolyn started imagining the worst possible scenarios in her mind. She knew that older dogs had a tendency to wander off, and find a private spot where they could spend their final moments alone. “What if Louie had sensed his time had come? What if she never…” she kept wondering, until she heard a scratch by a door. Was that Louie?
Louie was standing outside of the sliding glass door, exhausted and covered in mud. He was covered by a blanket of twigs too. His paws and belly were also muddy as heck. Did he go after some creature and forgot how to find his way home? Why would this take him so long? She opened the door, but Louie was exhausted. He walked slowly towards his bed and almost passed out.
Marolyn was relieved and excited to see her beloved pup again safe at home. But her happiness quickly turned to concern as she started checking Louie for injuries. She noticed a few scratches here and there, but there was one thing that caught her attention. There was a cardboard note attached to Louie’s collar: “Lu is the hero of the day. He led me to Maddy in distress, stuck under a branch pile. Cheers, Rob.”
Marolyn was both thrilled and proud to discover her dog was nothing short of a hero that day. It all made sense now! Dogs can sense when there’s trouble, so he must’ve realized that little Maddy was in trouble that day. Her owner, Rob, had been looking for her since the early morning, but he had to stop for a bit to run a few errands. When he got back home, Maddy was nowhere to be found still…until he saw little old Louie.
Despite being an older dog, Louie’s senses seemed to be intact. He was particularly persistent that day, and in a way, you could say he was like a dog with a bone. He was very loud that day, barking and bounding in an alarming way. At first, Rob couldn’t understand why he was acting this way….until he realized what he was doing. That’s when he got closer to Louie, who immediately led the way towards Maddy.
As Louie made his way through the woods, he kept constantly growling, barking, and making sure Rob was following him. They made their way towards the edge of the farm. They went pretty far until they stumbled upon a clearing. That’s when he saw the giant pile of wood on one side. Louie started sniffing the branches under the pile of wood, and that’s when they heard a faint moan coming from inside.
Rob screamed, “Maddy!” The second the tiny pup heard her owner’s voice, she let out a desperate cry for help. “We’ve got you,” he said, in an attempt to calm her down. “It’ll all be alright,” he kept on saying. But he could’ve made it without Louie. He started digging ferociously in the dried dirt. Rob kept pulling branches and logs, trying to keep them from coming loose.
After Louie’s desperate digging and Rob’s attempt at holding together the dangerous pile of wood, little Maddy’s beard popped up from the hole. She was okay! It took Rob the longest time to finally able to lift the giant pile of wood so Maddy could get out, but she was able to crawl her way out. She looked disheveled, hungry, and scared, but she was finally free!
Louie wanted to make sure that his friend would get home safe, so he followed back to Rob’s house. Of course, the man was beyond grateful that old Louie persevered and did everything he could to get his attention and lead him towards Maddy, so he prepared an extra bowl of food. He drafted a note and attached it to his collar so Marolyn would know what happened. Then, it was time for Louie to go home.
The next day, Marolyn went out on a walk along with Louie, thrilled that he had made his way home. They were making their way towards Rob’s house. Little Maddy greeted Louie and the two trotted around and played a little while their owners talked about what went down that day. Rob went on to describe the whole situation in great detail. Marolyn was shocked, to say the least.
To say that Louie saved the day, is an understatement. He had protected the farm for over a decade, so he was pretty familiar with the area. If it wouldn’t have been for his heightened senses, Maddy may have never been found. Louie’s heroic act is further proof that dogs are truly man’s best friend. Attaboy, Louie!