This brave dog raced against flames to save what would be her owner's livelihood, uncaring of the fire that was rapidly spreading.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on January 21, 2020. It has since been updated.
As Australia burns with a ferocity no one expected, people are forced to flee their homes, their livelihoods are destroyed, and the wildlife lost is in the hundred-thousands. Some people have lost their lives, including brave firefighters, and many are reported missing. It truly is heartbreaking to watch and tons of brave men and women are risking their lives to slow down the fires with barely a moment to breathe. However, they aren't the only species trying to save others. In fact, one such courageous soul is a hero border collie who did her part to help fight the damage that continues to bear down on the continent. In fact, that is how she and her owner spent their New Year's Eve — battling the raging bushfires, according to Diply.
According to Metro UK, Patsy, a six-year-old working dog rounded her owner's sheep to a safe place all while a wall of fire rapidly approached them. As the flames came closer to them in the town of Corryong in Victoria, she got them to the safest paddock while her owner fought the fire back with a tank of water atop his tractor. And because of her actions, she and her owner managed to save almost all of the sheep, the hay bales, shearing shed, and farmhouses.
The owner's sister, Cath Hills took to social media to recognize the work of her brother’s "wonder dog" where she shared pictures of Patsy sitting on the flame-ravaged farmland along with the surviving sheep and the devastating smoke-filled sky.
One heart-wrenching picture even shows the border collie during the rescue while the fire was getting closer and closer to her.
Speaking to Metro UK, Cath mentioned that her brother was still fighting fires in their town which doesn't seem to be slowing down. She said, "It’s like Armageddon. Everyone is just trying to get water and feed to their animals, shoot the ones that can’t be saved, get temporary fences up to keep stock secure, and put out all the logs and stumps still burning. And there’s people who have nothing left but the clothes on their backs."
She also stated that though there have been days of cooler weather which has kept the fire from moving so fast, she is scared that it's not the end. "They (fires) are expected to get worse around Thursday (January 9, 2020) this week when hot windy weather returns," she said.
Putting up a video post on Facebook after the frightening event that took them by surprise in the morning, she said, "It’s unbelievable and it’s only going to get worse. That’s why we put Patsy’s story out there. People need something positive." In the video, she also can be heard congratulating the canine sitting on the burnt field, for a job well done. She told the furry savior, "Hey Patsy, can you hear those sheep? That’s all your work, well done. You little champion, good girl."
Knowing that not everyone was as lucky as they were, Cath and others set up a crowd-funding campaign to help those who truly needed it as they prepare for another week of fires. Well, Patsy truly is a champion, especially in a time where people need to stand united as they face one of the biggest battles in their life. As the fires claimed an estimate of one billion animals, according to the University of Sydney, and numerous homes, our prayers and thoughts are with them.
If you would like to help, donations to the following pages can go a long way in giving the residents of Australia some relief while they rebuild their homes: