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!  


The dogs trained to detect spiked cigarettes in the UK are often Spaniels
In the UK, the dogs trained to detect spiked cigarettes are often Spaniels
Spaniels Are Doing The Sniffing

In our latest Pet Hero story, we highlight the work of dogs trained to detect spiked cigarettes. And, in the U.K., 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. And these sweet-natured canine heroes have made this possible.

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

These sniffer dogs are sometimes equipped with bodycams that document their work. As a result, the footage can be released for public viewing to heighten awareness of the health dangers from smoking tainted tobacco.

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 had taken place a few years back. To my delight, the article mentioned the two dog heroes. Their names are Scamp, a Springer Spaniel, and Phoebe, a Sprocker Spaniel, which is a cross between a Springer and a Cocker!

Dangers And Loopholes

Products such as these are not only cheaper than genuine ones and can reach more consumers, especially juveniles, they are 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 stuff as gross as rat droppings and camel excrement. 

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 in the form of duty and sales tax when non-counterfeit products are smuggled in.

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

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


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
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

Yes. You read it right! This is indeed our first cat hero story and it’s pretty amazing. So amazing, in fact, that Tara became an internet sensation when footage from the home surveillance video that captured the incident was uploaded two days later and seen by viewers across the globe. It then became the first video in YouTube history to reach 20 million views in five days.

The story with a mostly happy ending started off like this. On May 13, 2014, in Bakersfield, CA, four-year old Jeremy Triantafilo was riding his bike in the driveway of his home when a neighbor’s dog (a Labrador/Chow Chow mix) ran up from behind, bit him in the leg and started pulling him backwards. 

Tara, the indoor/outdoor tabby cat that the family had adopted six years prior, heard the commotion and raced into action, running towards the much larger canine at full speed and body slamming it. Jeremy’s mother immediately rushed outside to the rescue but was also bitten before valiant Tara chased the aggressive dog away.

Little Jeremy required 10 stitches to his left calf but was able to join Tara and his parents on The Today Show a couple of days later.

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 and on January 1st, 2018, Tara and her family rode in the Rose Parade on the Lucy Pet Foundation Paws for Life float honoring several other heroic animals.

Footnote: The young adult dog in question was surrendered by its owners to the local Animal Care Center. However, after the mandatory 10-day quarantine period for rabies, it was not put up for adoption due to its “vicious” behavior and, sadly, was euthanized.

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


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

From Our Series Of Pet Hero Stories
In January this year, an elderly man was taking an early morning stroll along the marina at Pittsburg in Northern California, some 40 miles northeast of San Francisco, when he slipped and fell into the water.

Fortunately, Moe, a Golden Retriever happened to see the incident and began barking profusely. This woke up his owner who then rushed outside, saw the man struggling and helped bring him to safety.

Later that day, officers from the Pittsburg Police Department visited Moe and hailed him a hometown hero.

A heroic story about a dog being in the right place at the right time!

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


Hero dog TatorTot and the boy whose life he saved in a medical emergency
Best buddies Peyton and TatorTot dressed up to celebrate St Patrick’s Day
Highly awarded pit bull TatorTot is a hero and the best “nanny dog” ever
Rescue pit bull TatorTot saved a young boy’s life
One of many awards given to hero dog TatorTot

From time to time I will now be adding to my blog an ongoing series of stories about pets that are true heroes. They illustrate the intelligence, loyalty and compassion that companion animals show towards other animals and humans that are worthy of our admiration and respect. Here is the first one. Enjoy!

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, he was pulled by a local rescue organization and placed with a foster family to prepare him for eventual adoption.

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 2 AM TatorTot was running around trying to alert the family that something was wrong. When Christi got up she found the pup on Peyton’s bed, barking, pawing him and licking his face, and her son unresponsive and barely breathing. She rushed him to the ER where he was successfully revived. 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.

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.

Until recently this amazing dog enjoyed a life filled with fun and adventure in his adopted home with the Smith family. Sadly, on May 1st 2017, aged four, he succumbed to lymphoma. However, he will forever be remember as a canine hero and an inspiration to all mankind. RIP, sweet TatorTot.

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