Louisiana dog hailed a hero for protecting young girls lost in woods for hours

A Louisiana family searched for the lost girls for four hours before they were found

A family dog is being hailed as a hero after it protected two young girls who wandered off and got lost in the Louisiana woods for hours.

Abigail Bourg, 7, and her four-year-old sister Cecilia were reported missing in Folsom, Louisiana on Monday while accompanied by their family Golden Retriever, Artemis, CBS News reported.

"I just start like running around the whole six acre property and that's when I called [my husband] and said, 'They're gone,'" Mary Bourg said about the moment she realized her girls were gone.

Police and neighbors searched for the girls for four hours and finally located them when they heard Artemis barking. 

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A Louisiana dog named Artemis is drawing praise for protecting his 4 and 7-year-old owners while they were lost in the woods for four hours earlier this week.

A Louisiana dog named Artemis is drawing praise for protecting his 4 and 7-year-old owners while they were lost in the woods for four hours earlier this week. (St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office via Storyful)

Mary Bourg told the outlet that Artemis at first protected the girls from the search team and "wasn't letting them by the girls."

"He was circling them, growling at the people to protect them," Bourg said.

The girls had wandered off more than a mile and the family dog reportedly laid on top of them to protect them when they got tired. 

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The family of a Louisiana dog is crediting him with protecting two small children who were lost

The family of a Louisiana dog is crediting him with protecting two small children who were lost ( St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office via Storyful)

After the family was reunited, the girls told their family they had gotten lost trying to keep up with Artemis.

"He kept running ahead of us. We were trying to follow him, but we couldn't keep up," Abigail Bourg said.

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Loyal Golden Retriever Dog Sitting on a Green Backyard Lawn

Loyal Golden Retriever Dog Sitting on a Green Backyard Lawn (iStock)

Abigail’s father Justin says the family has forgiven Artemis for running off. 

"He's got a free pass for a while," Bourg said. "I won't be fussing at him for chewing up blankets and shoes."