When Ralph Dorn’s Goldendoodle went missing he couldn’t believe where he found him.
Dorn, 62, of Culpeper, Virginia had been searching for his dog Harley and finally found him swimming in the middle of a lake. It appeared that the 6-year-old Goldendoodle was swimming alongside another animal. When Dorn looked a little closer he realized that Harley was guiding a baby fawn to safety.
“I couldn’t find Harley this evening until I looked out on the lake. He was near the middle of the lake herding a little fawn back to the shoreline. Not sure how the fawn got out there but Harley obviously didn’t ask why, he just jumped into action.” – Ralph DornA Goldendoodle with a heart of gold.Although it was shocking to see his dog rescuing the helpless animal, Dorn always thought that his dog Harley was one-of-a-kind.
“We could tell right away, even as a puppy, he had such a good heart,” says Dorn. “He has always been like that with children and animals. He loves them all.”The dog’s nurturing disposition was well known in the Dorn family. Harley is also a certified therapy dog.But Harley wasn’t just a great dog, he was now a hero.Harley stayed right beside the fawn the entire time, guiding it to shore.
Dorn went down to the water’s edge to meet them and helped the fawn up onto dry land. There was a rather steep ledge so Dorn lifted the baby deer out of the water and onto the grass. Dorn captured Harley’s heroic efforts on Facebook where it was shared over 250,000 times.
Once the baby deer was safely out of danger, Harley started to lick the animal as if checking to see if everything was ok.
It was clear that this was now Harley’s baby too. Thankfully the mother appeared soon after the fawn was brought to shore. When Dorn saw the mother he quickly took Harley back to the house. The mother left with her baby shortly after the two said their goodbyes.
The next morning the family got another heartwarming surprise.
“The story continues. This morning Harley got restless running from window to window. I opened the front door and we could hear the fawn bleating. Harley ran into the tree line and found the fawn. The little one stopped bleating, tail wagging, they touched noses sniffed each other and Harley came calmly back to the house with me.” – Dorn said on Facebook
The fawn obviously wanted to see Harley one more time.
Dorn told PEOPLE that the mother and baby were gone by the end of the day and hasn’t seen them since.
Ralph and his wife Pat received direct messages from people all over the world who saw pictures and videos of Harley’s brave rescue. The attention and praise really touched their hearts.
“We were just amazed…We had no idea of the reaction.” – Pat Dorn told PEOPLE
“We’re very happy that it has touched so many people…and brought joy to so many as well.” – Ralph Dorn told PEOPLE
With the baby fawn out of danger and back with its mother, Harley can rest easy knowing he is the hero of the day…and a forever friend to one special little deer.