A partially sighted deaf dog has been hailed a hero after saving a three-year old girl lost in the Australian bush.
Family dog Max stayed by the side of little Aurora for 16 hours after she went missing in Queensland.
The girl’s family had been searching all night when Max found them and led them to the girl.
The 17-year old pet also kept the child warm over night as search parties failed to locate the child as darkness fell.
He has now been named an “honorary police dog” by Queensland police.
A mass search had been launched involving two helicopters as temperatures dropped and fears grew that the child could have fallen into a dam near the property.
Her grandmother Leisa Bennet revealed the moment Max led her to her grand daughter after she heard a noise in the darkness she thought was a bird.
She said: “We were standing here alone in the darkness knowing a three-year-old was out in the cold.
“It wasn’t a situation where we could go home and sleep in our warm blankets knowing she was out here.
“I thought it was a bird at first yelling back yes. But then when I heard her yell ‘Grammy’, I knew it was her.”
“When I got to the top the dog came to me and led me straight to her.”
The little girl escaped the ordeal unharmed apart from a few grazes and bruises from the rough terrain.
Inspector Craig Berry from Queensland Police said: “The child had been out in the elements all night with only the company of an elderly, blind, half deaf dog, so it was a positive outcome.”
Queensland Police posted a picture of the dog on their Facebook page, which quickly got more than 11,000 ‘likes’.
The police team wrote: “SUCH A GOOD BOY, MAX!
“For keeping her safe until she was found, you’re now an honorary police dog!”