October 17, 2015
On Friday, from his office in Olympia, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee proclaimed Tillie, a setter-spaniel mix, ‘Washingtonian of the Day’. You may remember Tillie, the dog who stood guard for a week at the mouth of a cistern, protecting her basset hound friend Phoebe, after Phoebe fell in the cistern. Tillie left Phoebe’s side only briefly to try to get help for her four-year-old bestie. Said Governor Inslee, “This act of compassion and loyalty is something all of Washington can celebrate. I was proud to name Tillie the dog ‘Washingtonian of the Day’ today.”
Last month, Tillie and Phoebe had been reported missing from their home on Vashon Island, Washington. Their owner, B.J. Duft, was joined by volunteers who helped him searched for the pair. A week went by when they finally received a call about a reddish dog seen in the area. The dog was reportedly running around on someone’s property, barked a few times, and then headed back into a ravine. Finally, 11-year-old Tillie had managed to gain the human attention she desperately needed to help save her companion. When the two were located, a photo was snapped that went viral, showing Tillie sitting next to the cistern, with young Phoebe lying on a pile of stones above the water.
The pair were hungry and cold, but safe. To honor her for her bravery and loyalty, Tillie received a written proclamation from the Governor, and a Washington apple pin on a ribbon, tied around her neck. She was joined at the ceremony by her owner, Duft, and her pal, Phoebe. These are definitely a pair of ‘bone-a-fide’ companions. Their owner says that the dogs now sport GPS collars, just in case they go off on another unattended jaunt. According to reports, this is the first time a non-human has received this award.