Artemis barked to let rescuers know where he and his family's two daughters were sitting in the woods.
two young girls hugging their golden retriever; golden protects lost kids
Credit: Erin Lester / Getty

A loyal golden retriever helped ensure the rescue of his family's daughters after they went missing for hours in some Louisiana woods Monday night.

Abigail, 7, and Cecilia Bourg, 4, were at their home near Folsom around 5 p.m., playing with their golden, Artemis. According to WGNO, they followed Artemis when he ran into the nearby woods. They were soon lost, setting off a massive search.   

More than 100 volunteers started looking for them, and local law enforcement agencies deployed drones, ATVs, K-9 officers, and a helicopter to find the missing trio as the hours passed.

"Originally, I was very confident we were going to find them in the woods. That's their favorite place to go play, but once hour three, three and a half was kind of creeping up on us on the clock, I was getting more dark thoughts," their father, Justin Bourg, told WWL

Luckily, the bright girls knew they were lost and decided to sit down and stay put, according to WWL. Abigail hung into Artemis's collar and snuggled into him while Cecilia cuddled up to her sister, Justin said.

Around four hours after they'd gone missing, the searchers heard Artemis barking and found the missing kiddos. Here's what the reunion with their parents looked like (from the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office): 

Justin guessed they'd only ventured 300–400 yards away from the house, but it's no doubt a terrifying experience for any parent. And yes, WGNO reported that Artemis was rewarded handsomely for his help: His folks fed him a steak dinner.