▶ Watch Video: Family dog protects young girls lost in woods

Folsom, Louisiana — When Abigail and Cecilia Bourg went missing at the end of November in the woods behind their home, their parents were frantic. Now, Artemis, the Bourg family dog, is being hailed a hero. 

“I just start like running around the whole property — six acres — and that’s when I called [my husband] and said, ‘They’re gone,'” Mary Bourg said. 

The 7- and 4-year-old girls had wandered more than a mile. When they got tired, Artemis allowed Abigail Bourg to lay on him.

Police and neighbors searched for the girls for four hours, until someone heard Artemis barking.

Mary Bourg said that when the search team got close, Artemis, “wasn’t letting them by the girls.”

“He was circling them, growling at the people to protect them,” she said.

It was only after the girls were reunited with their parents that they learned Artemis was actually the one that got them lost. 

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

The family has forgiven him. 

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