Hero Dog Who Stood Watch Over Friend For More Than A Week Receives Award

Tillie the dog became the first non-human to be recognized as the "Washingtonian of the Day."

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Tillie, getting her award and celebratory pat on the head. Via Governor Jay Inslee/Facebook

Before they met Washington state Governor Jay Inslee, Phoebe and Tillie went to the salon for shampoos and sleek haircuts, ensuring that they’d look their best for their big day. Wait, did we say salon? We meant groomer.

Tillie, the Irish Setter-Spaniel mix who watched over Phoebe, her Bassett Hound friend, for more than a week in the woods was meeting with Inslee to receive the Washingtonian of the Day award. (And if that doesn’t warrant a new hairstyle, we don’t know what does.)

Inslee presented the award to the 11-year old dog for her “bravery and loyalty” as she remained by Phoebe’s side after the younger dog fell into a cistern in the woods near their Vashon, Washington, home. The two were eventually rescued after a man saw Tillie repeatedly running onto his property before returning to the woods. He called Vashon Island Pet Protectors and the dogs were found — and they discovered that Tillie had been standing watch over her friend for more than seven days.

Tillie stayed with her best friend, Phoebe, for a full week. Via Vashon Island Pet Protectors/Facebook

Tillie stayed with her best friend, Phoebe, after Phoebe fell in a cistern. Via Vashon Island Pet Protectors/Facebook

“I saw this story and I just immediately said this is something Washington needs to celebrate,” Inslee told the News Tribune. “I grew up with Rin Tin Tin and Lassie and I never thought I’d meet a real dog that had that type of Hollywood character, but Tillie’s right here.”

The governor presented Tillie with a pin shaped like an apple — the state fruit — and a ribbon. Inslee has issued more than 70 Washingtonian of the Day awards. Tillie is the first non-human recipient.

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