Last Friday, 3-year-old Aurora was reported missing after she wandered away from her family property and disappeared into rugged bushland on Queensland’s Southern Downs.
Local police and a group of volunteers searched the area throughout the night but unable to find her. The missing girl’s grandmother, Leisa Bennett was with the search party on Saturday when she heard Aurora’s voice from the top of the mountain. She found their dog, Max, who led her to Aurora, who suffered minor cuts and scratches.
The 17-year-old deaf and partially blind dog has apparently spent the cold night with the girl, keeping her warm. According to State Emergency Service (SES) area controller Ian Phipps, a family member has seen Aurora and Max about two kilometres from the house, still on the family property at Cherry Gulley.
“The area around the house is quite mountainous and is very inhospitable terrain to go walking in, so she’d travelled quite a distance with her dog that was quite loyal to her,” he told Australia News.
The blue heeler dog was at Aurora’s side for the 15 hours she was lost. For his heroic work in keeping the girl safe, Max was recognized as an honorary police dog.
SUCH A GOOD BOY, MAX! He stayed with his 3-year-old human who was lost near Warwick last night while we frantically searched for her. For keeping her safe, you're now an honorary police dog. 🐶https://t.co/QiszGFP4gg via @ABCNews pic.twitter.com/xxRc6ndeaK
— Queensland Police (@QldPolice) April 21, 2018
“He never left her sight. She smelled of dog, she slept with the dog.” Leisa Bennet told ABC Brisbane.