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Loyal dog stays with lost 3-year-old overnight, police say

A family’s loyal dog stayed with a lost 3-year-old girl until search crews found them Saturday, according to police.

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Max, a 17-year-old blue heeler that is deaf and partially blind, walked off with the girl Friday afternoon. He stayed with her through the cold, rainy night until they were located about 15 hours later, more than a mile from home, on a remote part of the family’s property, according to ABC News.

"The area around the house is quite mountainous and is very inhospitable terrain to go walking in, so she'd traveled quite a distance with her dog that was quite loyal to her," Ian Phipps, an area controller with the State Emergency Service, told ABC News

The girl’s grandmother, Leisa Marie Bennett, faintly heard the child’s voice. She first found Max, who led her to the girl, who had minor cuts and bruises.

“When I heard her yell 'Grammy' I knew it was her," she told ABC News. "I shot up the mountain, and when I got to the top, the dog came to me and led me straight to her. He never left her sight. She smelled of dog. She slept with the dog. It could have gone any of 100 ways, but she's here. She's alive. She's well and it's a great outcome for our family."

For his efforts, Max was named an honorary police dog.

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