Goldendoodle Rescues Fawn From Drowning in Virginia Lake

Harley rescuing the baby deer from the Virginia lake.

"Not sure how the fawn got out there but Harley obviously didn't ask why, he just jumped into action," said Ralph Dorn, 62, of Culpeper, Virginia.

Harley is a canine hero. The 6-year-old Goldendoodle dove into a lake outside his Virginia home to save a baby deer from drowning.

"Not sure how the fawn got out there but Harley obviously didn't ask why, he just jumped into action," said Harley's owner, Ralph Dorn, 62, of Culpeper, Virginia.

Dorn, a retired Marine Corps pilot was so proud of his boy that he posted the rescue on his Facebook that has since gone viral and has been shared more than 250,000 times.

Dorn said the event took place on June 2nd while he was looking for his dog. He said that when he looked out onto the lake he saw Harley about 200 feet from shore herding a little fawn back to the shoreline. He watched as Harley paddled side-by-side with the fawn beside him as they slowly made their way to land. 

Dorn said he was there to lend a hand helping to the baby deer, who he estimated was only a few days old, and got her over a steep rocky ledge before placing her onto the grass. While this was all happening, a very wet and excited Harley began to do what dogs do best: sniff and lick his new friend.

“Harley didn’t want to leave the fawn,” Dorn told People. “He just kept interacting with it, licking it, caring for it.”

The pair finally separated after the fawn’s mother emerged. Dorn said that is when he took Harley inside. Until the next morning, when another encounter took place.

Dorn shared in the Facebook post that Harley could hear the fawn bleating and started bolting from window to window in the house in anticipation of seeing his new friend again.

As soon as Dorn opened the front door, Harley took off running towards the fawn.

"The little one stopped bleating, tail wagging, they touched noses sniffed each other and Harley came calmly back to the house with me,” Dorn wrote.

Dorn said knew he knew early on that Harley had a heart of gold.

"We could tell right away, even as a puppy, he had such a good heart," Dorn said. "He has always been like that with children and animals. He loves them all."

When Harley isn’t doing rescues, he is busy playing with their Dorn’s four grandchildren, or the family cat, Zsu Zsu, visiting the elderly at assisted living facilities as a certified therapy dog, or visiting children during the library’s reading program.

Harley’s human mom, Pat Dorn, a former Navy nurse said she was “amazed” with the positive responses she has gotten about her beloved Harley and so glad he has “touched,” so many.

One person wrote: “Just amazing! What a fantastic doggo! Definitely medal-worthy (he could be a Marine!!)."

Another person remarked: “Harley is awesome. What a beautiful story.” 

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