A family discovered their pet dog was a hero thanks to a note tied to his collar by a grateful neighbor.
Louie the sheepdog, who lives with the parents of Marolyn Driver in New Zealand, sparked panic when he went missing this week.
The family were worried that something terrible had happened to the elderly 12-year-old – but the truth was he had just completed a rescue mission.
When he returned they were stunned to find a note written on a piece of cardboard and fixed to his collar.
It said: “Louie is the hero of the day.
“He led me to Maddy in distress stuck under a branch pile. Cheers, Rob.”
It emerged that Rob, a farmer who lives about a mile away, returned home from a shopping trip to find Louie at his house and the sheepdog was desperate to be followed.
Louie led Rob to his own dog Maddy, who was trapped under a pile of wood.
The sheepdog helped Rob dig her out and then the two pooches ran and jumped into a nearby pond to cool off.
Marolyn told: “(Rob) knew Louie might get in trouble for being late home, so he thought he would write a small note to explain his absence.
“He looked so exhausted, and had basically just collapsed.
“We were concerned someone might have hurt him.
“But after reading the note I felt complete and utter relief, then my heart melted.”
Louie’s heroics left the dog shattered, and Marolyn feared he might not make it through the night.
But the next day Rob popped by with Maddy and his spirits were instantly lifted.
Marolyn added: “I’m so proud of him.”