Since the first moment Ralph and Patricia Dorn met a goldendoodle named Harley, they knew he was a special kind of pup.
Harley has always been drawn to children and animals, even doting on the family cat every chance he gets. As a certified therapy dog, Harley adores bringing cheer to nursing home residents and visiting kids during their local library's story time.
"We could tell right away, even as a puppy, he had such a good heart," Ralph told People. "He has always been like that with children and animals. He loves them all."
Harley's kind heart served the family well on a recent June evening. The Dorns live on a lake in Culpeper, Virginia, and Ralph began to grow concerned when he called for Harley but the dog did not come to him.
When he glanced out at the lake, he was shocked to see the pup swimming about 200 feet offshore. When he looked again, Ralph realized Harley wasn't alone.
As Ralph watched in awe, Harley began swimming toward dry land while herding a tiny newborn deer. The fawn was following the compassionate canine to safety, and Harley was intent on making sure the baby didn't fall behind. When they reached the shoreline together, Harley helped the fawn get out of the water and then began to lick and watch over it like a mother hen.
"Harley didn't want to leave the fawn," Ralph said. "He just kept interacting with it, licking it, caring for it."
Ralph admired the sweet pair for several minutes, and when the mother deer appeared nearby, he took Harley inside so the mother and baby could reunite. From the house, Ralph saw the deer and her fawn head back into the woods together.
The story would be amazing if it ended right there, but incredibly enough, there's another chapter! The next morning, Harley began frantically running from window to window inside their home. Ralph went outside to see what was going on and heard a fawn bleating. He let Harley out to visit his little friend, and sure enough, the doting dog ran straight for the fawn to check on it!
"Harley ran into the tree line and found the fawn," Ralph wrote on Facebook. "The little one stopped bleating, tail wagging, they touched noses sniffed each other."
After they knew everything was OK, Harley and the fawn settled down and carried on with their visit. Once more, the mother deer returned at the end of the day to collect her baby, only this time, they didn't come back to the yard again.
Ralph shared the heartwarming story and photos of Harley's rescue mission on Facebook, and people were equally supportive and moved by the dog's innate kindness.
"We're very happy that it has touched so many people and brought joy to so many as well," Ralph said.
Aren't dogs amazing? This precious pooch is the embodiment of love. No creature is too small for him to lavish with care!
Watch Harley reach the shore with his new little buddy in the video below, and don't forget to share this act of heroism.
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