Meet Max: The Goodest Of Good Dogs
Deaf and blind and brave as a lion.
He may be deaf and partially blind, but 17-year-old blue heeler Max was never going to abandon a distressed child lost in rugged bushland. And now the goodest of good boys has been rewarded for his efforts with Queensland’s first honorary police dog medal.
Paying a special visit to the canine’s home on Tuesday May 1, Senior Sergeant James Deacon and Sergeant Trevor O’Neil presented Max with an official Queensland Police collar and medallion.
Max came to the rescue when three-year-old Aurora wandered off from her family’s property in Cherry Gully south of Warwick. There was a frantic search for the child who had seemingly vanished into thin air.
Her distraught family tried not to think the worst but as the hours ticked by their panic deepened. But Max never wavered. Despite his obvious limitations, the brave dog kept the toddler safe and warm throughout the cold, drizzly night. The pair was found the following morning by the little girl's grandmother Leisa Bennett.
Ms Bennett told ABC News that the search party found the child after Max -- who belongs to Aurora's uncle Jake -- responded to her shouting, leading searchers to Aurora’s exact location. Upon hearing Max’s bark for help, “I shot up the mountain … and when I got to the top, the dog came to me and led me straight to her,” she said.
At the time of their rescue, Queensland Police commended Max on his bravery by posting a message on Twitter saying, "Such a good boy, Max! He stayed with his three-year-old human last night whilst she was lost near Warwick. For keeping her safe until she was found, you're now an honorary police dog."
The tweet created such a buzz that it made Max an overnight internet sensation, with fans taking to social media to share their messages of delight. "Great work. Well done, Max. Good boy!" one woman posted.
State emergency services area controller Ian Phipps told ABC News Aurora and Max had spent the night in pretty rough conditions and were lucky to survive with nothing more than a few cuts and scratches.
“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 said. “She’s a very hardy young lass to survive that without any ill effects and everyone, all the volunteers, are extremely happy."
Ms Bennett said apart from a few emotional reunion tears and minor cuts and grazes, both Aurora and Max were safe and sound. “He never left her sight. She smelled of dog, she slept with the dog,” she said.
During the official award ceremony Max clearly enjoyed the attention, as a video shared to Facebook shows. And from us, one last time. 'Good boy Max'.
Feature image: Queensland Police