When Aurora went missing Max, the Australian Cattle Dog hero, never left her side
When Aurora went missing Max, the Australian Cattle Dog hero, never left her side

She is three years old. He is 17. I describe how an Australian Cattle dog hero protects a lost child for 15 hours, Down Under, in Queensland’s inhospitable bush country.

This Happened

The incident occurred in April 2018 and it could well have ended in tragedy. Fortunately, though, Max was little Aurora’s protector and stayed with her throughout the ordeal after she wandered off that afternoon. 

Aurora was first reported missing at 3pm, and wasn’t found until 8am the next morning. Most likely she had snuggled up next to her faithful, four-legged friend during a rainy night outdoors. 

Thanks to Max, the Australian Cattle Dog hero, Aurora was safely reunited with her mother

Three-year-old Aurora is reunited with her mother after her all-night ordeal

The initial searches conducted by Aurora’s family and others were not successful but the next morning more than 100 State Emergency Service volunteers, police and members of the public were participating in the operation. Then everything changed. Aurora’s grandmother, Leisa Bennett, heard the little girl calling out from the top of a rugged, elevated piece of ground and rushed there as fast as she could. When she got closer she saw Max who then led her straight to her grand-daughter who, miraculously, had only suffered minor cuts and abrasions.

Queensland’s Appreciation

Because of his heroic act, Australia’s Queensland police department decided to give Max the title of Honorary Police Dog. And, what he did is even more amazing when you learn that he is actually a special needs canine. He is completely deaf and has only partial eye sight! Bravo, Max! You are a true dog hero and an exemplary representative of your breed.

Max, the 17-year-old Australian Cattle Dog hero, is completely deaf and has only partial eye sight
Max, the 17-year-old Australian Cattle Dog hero, is completely deaf and has only partial eye sight

The Australian Cattle Dog

In case you are not familiar with this breed, I thought I’d add this to Max’s story.

Also known as Heeler, Blue Heeler, or Red Heeler, depending on the coloring of their coat, Max, the Australian Cattle Dog hero in this story, is a Blue Heeler. The breed came about in the latter half of the 19th century in Australia to combine stamina, agility and intelligence so it could assist stockmen in their work. It was admitted to the American Kennel Club in 1980. 

Heelers are medium-sized, muscular and athletic as well as intensely loyal and protective. Some “owners” even call them velcro dogs, because they like to follow their human everywhere they go. 

Together, let’s keep our precious pets healthy, happy and safe!

Another must read article in this category:

Pit bull rescue pup detects a child’s health crisis,


Sniffer dogs like this Spaniel help track down illicit cigarettes and loose tobacco in the UK
Spaniels are frequently used in the UK to detect toxic, spiked cigarettes

Spaniels Are Doing The Sniffing

In our latest Working Dog Heroes story, we highlight the work of specially trained dogs that detect spiked cigarettes. And, in the U.K., it so happens that many of these wonderful dogs are Spaniels.

The supply and demand for cheap, illicit and extremely harmful tobacco products has reached a new high across the pond. However, despite the challenges that law enforcement faces to apprehend the culprits, their job is now a whole lot easier. After all, it’s these sweet-natured canine heroes who have made this possible.

Tainted Tobacco Sniffer Dogs

Both purebred and crossbred, Spaniels are being used to detect spiked cigarettes and loose tobacco. In addition, they sniff out legitimate merchandise that is smuggled into the country.

Sometimes these sniffer dogs wear bodycams that document their work and the public can then view the released footage. The result is a heighten awareness of the health dangers caused by smoking tainted tobacco. And, hopefully, a reduction in the supply and demand of these products.

Targeting Central London

In recent months, police conducted a raid at a hair salon in the heart of London’s West End. The dogs discovered nearly 30,000 fake cigarettes hidden in suitcases inside Lego toys and laptop cases. 

Scamp And Phoebe

I read recently about another seizure in the East Midlands county of Northamptonshire that took place a few years back. To my delight, the article mentioned the two dog heroes. The name of the first one is Scamp, a Springer Spaniel. The other, called  Phoebe, is a Sprocker Spaniel, which is a cross between a Springer and a Cocker!

Dangers And Loopholes

It’s necessary to point out that there are a number of serious concerns related to products such as these. For instance, they are cheaper than genuine ones and can reach more consumers, especially juveniles, But not only that. They are also dangerously toxic. Analyses show that they often contain elevated levels of cancer-causing chemicals, such as nicotine, tar, lead, cadmium and arsenic. Even more shocking, lab technicians have also found unsanitary ingredients as gross as rat droppings and camel excrement mixed in with the tobacco.

And, let’s not forget that these dogs and their handlers also help out in another way. After all, they prevent the loss of government revenue from duty and sales tax when non-counterfeit products are smuggled in.

To Sum Up

When detector dogs sniff out spiked cigarettes they are saving lives. Moreover, this is yet another example of what happens when humans and animals work as a team. Truly great things happen.


Feisty feline Tara saved a four-year old from what could have been fatal injuries
Tara the hero cat in the arms of his human sibling, Jeremy

Yes. You read it right! This is our first story to feature a feline, and the headline says, “cat hero attacks dog attacking boy”. Actually,  it’s pretty amazing. So amazing, in fact, that Tara became an internet sensation. 

This is all because footage from the home surveillance video captured the entire incident. And two days later, viewers across the globe saw it. Most noteworthy is the fact that it became the first video in YouTube history to reach 20 million views in five days.

Hero cat Tara became a YouTube sensation with 20 million views in five days
Tara in action giving chase after the roaming dog attacked Jeremy and mom Erica

Cat Saves Boy From Dangerous Dog

The story about the cat that saves a boy from a dangerous dog has a mostly happy ending, and starts off like this.

On May 13, 2014, in Bakersfield, CA, four-year old Jeremy Triantafilo was happily riding his bike in the driveway of his home. All of a sudden, a neighbor’s dog (a Labrador/ Chow Chow mix) ran up from behind. It then bit him in the leg and started pulling him backwards. 

Tara, the indoor/outdoor tabby cat that the family adopted six years earlier, heard the commotion and raced into action. The protective kitty ran towards the much larger canine at full speed and body slammed it. Jeremy’s mother immediately rushed outside to the rescue but was also bitten. That’s before valiant Tara chased the aggressive dog away. Unfortunately, little Jeremy needed 10 stitches to his left calf. 

Some Unexpected Publicity

Nevertheless, in spite of his injury, the youngster was ready for a different kind of adventure. Fortunately for him, a couple of days later he felt well enough to participate in a media interview. Jeremy happily joined Tara and his parents on national television, on The Today Show. 

Praise For Tara 

This feisty feline, who is typically just as sweet as can be, has won several awards for her bravery. In addition, she became the first non-human to be named Grand Marshal for Bakersfield’s Christmas parade in 2014. Then later, on January 1st, 2018, Tara and her family were invited to appear in another celebration. This time, to ride in the Rose Parade on the Lucy Pet Foundation Paws for Life float honoring several other heroic animals. Such worthy praise for a cat that saved a boy being attacked by a dog! 


The owners of the young adult dog involved surrendered the animal to the local Animal Care Center. However, after the mandatory 10-day quarantine period for rabies, it was not put up for adoption.  And, sadly, due to its “vicious” behavior, it was euthanized.

Together, let’s keep our precious pets healthy, happy and safe!

Update – Another Must-Read Article About Tara

A few years after this incident, renowned cat behaviorist Jackson Galaxy met this heroic cat and her human family


This pet hero helped save a man from drowning in Northern California
Moe, the Golden Retriever, watching all that goes on at the marina

It’s all thanks to dog hero Moe that a drowning man was saved. Because if it hadn’t been for a very alert Golden Retriever who was in the right place at the right time, and raised the alarm, this incident could easily have ended in tragedy.

Just in case you haven’t seen it yet, a few weeks ago I launched a special section on this site about pet heroism. What you see here now is the second such article about the heroic actions of both dogs, and cats. And, we look forward to sharing with all of you, a lot more inspiring stories about our pets. So much more than simply furry companions, they are sentient beings with a greater purpose.


Drowning Man Saved By Heroic Dog Moe, Senses Danger

In January this year, an elderly man was taking an early morning stroll along a marina in Northern California. To be precise, the location was Pittsburg, which is some 40 miles northeast of San Francisco. However, his walk stopped abruptly when he slipped and fell into the water.

Fortunately, though, Moe happened to see the incident and began barking profusely. At the time his owner was still asleep but the noise woke him up and he immediately knew that something was wrong. The “Golden’s” Dad rushed outside, saw the senior struggling in the water, and managed to help bring him to safety.

Pittsburg PD Meets The Hometown Hero

Moe, the heroic Golden Retriever, was happy to receive treats of gratitude from local law enforcement
Moe, the pet hero, was personally thanked with treats by officers of the Pittsburg (CA) Police Department

Always ready to recognize acts of valor carried out by members of the community, the Pittsburg Police Department paid a visit to Moe and his human family later that day. K9 Officer Morris and Sergeant Law were able to thank Moe personally for his lifesaving act and give him some treats. They also said this to him, “Good job, Moe! We are proud to say you really are a hometown hero!”

Subsequently, the PPD published a Facebook post about what had happened. They wanted to make sure that everyone in the area could read this great story with a happy ending. How dog hero Moe had saved a drowning man!

To Sum Up

This article is just one example of the intelligence, loyalty and compassion that companion animals show towards other animals and humans. They are so very worthy of our admiration and respect. Stay tuned for more dog and cat hero stories in the coming weeks.

Together, let’s keep our precious pets healthy, happy and safe!  

Another must read article in this category:

Pit bull rescue pup detects a child’s health crisis,


It’s 2:00 am and the family is asleep, but TatorTot becomes a true canine hero and detects a child’s health crisis. 

This all happened in the early hours of the morning. However, instead of being fast asleep, this pit bull rescue pup was alert. Instinctively he realized that his human sibling, four-year-old Peyton, was having a life-threatening episode. And, thanks to him, the little boy got the speedy and vital hospital attention he needed to survive.

Best buddies Peyton and TatorTot, the canine hero that detected the child's health crisis
Best buddies Peyton and TatorTot, the canine hero that detected the child’s health crisis

Introducing A New Blog Series – Pet Hero Stories

Across the world, people love to hear about pets that are true heroes. So that is why, from time to time, I’ll be publishing an ongoing series of stories about these pets. They illustrate the intelligence, loyalty and compassion that companion animals show towards other animals and humans, And they certain deserve our admiration and respect. Here’s the first one. Enjoy!

Pit Bull Rescue Pup Saves A Life

In 2013, TatorTot was a high-energy, pit bull puppy being held at a Minneapolis, MN, municipal pound. Just before he was scheduled to be put down, a local rescue organization pulled him. He then spent time with a foster family so they could prepare him for eventual adoption.

What follows is simply amazing when you consider the timeline of events. And, in addition, the fact that after being classified unadoptable, this heroic pet gives the alert to a boy’s medical emergency and helps save his life.

TatorTot never leaves Peyton’s side even at nap time
TatorTot never leaves Peyton’s side even at nap time

He had only been at the Smith household for four days when Christi’s four-year-old son, Peyton, suffered a severe low-glycemic episode while he was sleeping. At around 2am TatorTot was running around trying to alert the family that something was very wrong. When his mother got up she found the pup on Peyton’s bed, barking, pawing him and licking his face. Her son was unresponsive and barely breathing. Christi rushed him to the ER where he was successfully revived. However, if the boy hadn’t received medical attention in time, he could have had a seizure, gone into a coma, or simply not have survived.

No Training, Just Instinct

As most of us know, medical-alert dogs generally undergo training but, instinctively, TatorTot knew what to do. And, for his heroic action, he was given the PETA Heroic Dog award, a Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association Hero Award and the City of Brooklyn Park Mayor’s Good Canine Award. Wow!

One of many awards given to TatorTot, the heroic pet who alerted a boy's medical emergency
One of many awards given to TatorTot, the heroic pet who alerted a boy’s medical emergency

In Memoriam

Up until recently this amazing dog enjoyed a life filled with fun and adventure in his adopted home with the Smith family. But sadly, he became very ill and on May 1st 2017, aged four, he succumbed to lymphoma. Nevertheless, this canine hero, who detected a child’s health crisis, will forever be remember as an inspiration to all mankind. RIP, sweet TatorTot.

To Sum Up

We love our companion animals and they never cease to surprise us. Their intelligence, loyalty and compassion towards other animals and humans is amazing. For more dog and cat hero stories in the coming weeks, please stay tuned.

Together, let’s keep our precious pets healthy, happy and safe!  

More must read articles in this category:

Drowning senior saved by Golden Retriever,

Australian Cattle Dog protects a lost child,