Tuesday, June 25, 2024

A Dog Saves a Fawn

Ralph Dorn, 62, who was a pilot in the Marine Corps, of Culpepper, Virginia posted on Facebook and spoke with PEOPLE magazine regarding his dog’s heroic act of kindness and protection. Harley, Dorn’s 6 year old golden retriever dog, was outside on June 2nd when Dorn noticed he was not near. After searching about his property, he saw the unexpected in a lake behind his home. He saw Harley and a fawn swimming side-by-side about 200 yards from shore.

Dorn realized that Harley appeared to be rescuing the baby deer. Dorn met the two as they reached the shore. As Harley and the fawn arrived to short, he cared for the baby deer by licking him. When Dorn spoke with PEOPLE, he said Harley did not want to be pulled away from it, bathed it and cared for it. Dorn could not explain what may have happened when he posted on Facebook. Dorn stated that Harley must have just “jumped into action” when he saw the fawn in danger. That post has gone viral since being shared over 250,000 times.

Nearby, Dorn noticed that the mother of the fawn had appeared. As she appeared, Dorn and his dog allowed the mother of the fawn to take over care. After Harley and Dorn were out of sight, the mother and fawn walked away together.

The next morning another unexpected event occurred. During their morning coffee, Patricia, 64, and Dorn, noticed Harley would not sit still. He kept running back and forth from the window. Dorn wrote on Facebook. He said that once he opened the door he could hear the cries of the fawn. Dorn continued to write that Harley ran into the woods and found the baby deer. The reunion was heartwarming. Once Harley found the fawn, he stopped crying, the fawn’s tail wagged, they sniffed and kissed one another, and Harley ran back inside with me,” Dorn continued. After the short reunion, as the fawn and Harley’s excitement settled down, the day came to an end. The doe and her fawn had ran off again. Dorn could not tell the age of the fawn but he believes the baby deer was no more than a week old. 

Harley’s heroic rescue of the fawn is but a small part of his everyday life. Harley has a “good heart,” Dorn says, from birth he was always sweet. Harley has been great with children and other animals, he said. The Dorns have four grandchildren. They adore Harley just as much as he loves them. In fact, Dorn says that “Harley is 100% glued to them.”

Harley served the community as well. He as therapy dog. In his work, he would go to long term care facilities and meet with the elderly. Harley also visited the local library during the children’s story time hours. When Harley isn’t visiting the elderly or children, he is at home cuddling up to his best friend, the family cat Zsu Zsu. For all of these reasons, Dorn is not surprised by his pup’s actions.

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