A Louisiana family’s worst nightmare came true recently. Their daughters, a 7-year-old and a 4-year-old, went missing with the family dog.
Abigail and Cecilia Bourg had no idea an entire community came together to search for them in the Folsom woods around their home. In their eyes, it was an adventure with their beloved Golden Retriever, Artemis, by their side.
The little girls’ parents, Justin and Mary Bourg, nervously watched as helicopters, drones, search dogs, and ATVs were deployed to locate their daughters.
Deep inside the woods, Artemis took good care of his human pack mates. The exploring trio got tired and eventually lay down for a rest.
Abigail snuggled up with Artemis and placed her little hand on his collar. Her sister, Cecilia (CC) cuddled up on her sister’s stomach. The all-hands-on-deck search taking place in the woods went on for hours.
“Originally, I was very confident we were going to find them in the woods. That’s their favorite place to go play but once hour three, three and a half was kind of creeping up on us on the clock, I was getting more dark thoughts,” Justin Bourg shared with CBS News.
Coupled with a strong faith and a devoted community, the Bourgs never lost hope that their girls would be found. What perplexes them the most is how the kids knew to stay in one place.
As rescuers got closer to the lost trio, Artemis began to bark. Thanks to the Golden Retriever’s audible sounds, rescuers were able to hone in on the area.
“When people found them, he was growling,” Mary Bourgh stated. “I don’t know how long it took for the people to be able to actually get access to the kids because he was protecting them.”
According to the American Kennel Club, Golden Retrievers are good with families, including young children. They are eager to please family dogs, as Artemis can attest.
As for what comes next, dad Jason plans to take a day with his girls and recenter on what is important. He later found out his girls followed Artemis into the woods, but he forgives him.
“He’s got a free pass for a while,” Justin said. “I won’t be fussing at him for chewing up blankets and shoes.”
Good boy, Artemis. Way to represent Golden Retrievers everywhere.