Loyal dog stands by trapped friend for a week

In what could be described as a "doggie miracle", a loyal dog stood guard by its trapped friend for a week until the pair were found.

Tillie, a setter, and Phoebe, a basset hound, had been missing for a week when Vashon Island Pet Protectors in Washington state posted a desperate plea on Facebook last weekend in a last ditch effort to help find the two much-loved pets.

VIPP recieved a phonecall earlier this week from someone who said for the last few days a "reddish" dog had come up to their property and then dashed back into a nearby ravine.

Acting on this slim lead, volunteers arrived at the property hoping that the reddish dog was indeed Tillie.

After a brief search of the nearby ravine, they heard a slight bark when they called out "Tillie".

What the volunteers found a few minutes later was something truly moving.

Bassett hound's are not known for their climbing skills. Credit: www.vipp.org

Tillie was standing guard on the edge of a concrete tank where she had been looking out for Phoebe, who - because of her short legs - had been unable to get out of the hole for the past week.

VIPP describe the "needle in a haystack" find on their Facebook page:

So with a needle in the haystack hope we made our way into the ravine and after a bit of searching, finally heard that sweet sound we have been waiting for all week.

Vashon Island Pet Protectors

Both dogs were cold and hungry but are doing well.

Amy Carey with VIPP told NBC News partner King5 that the remarkable discovery shows how unbreakable pack-bonds are in dogs and that it's a good reminder for owners never to give up searching for missing pets.

Hope is an awfully hard thing to keep open and alive in the face of heartbreak, but it so important for happy endings for missing pets.

Amy Carey, VIPP