‘Harley’ – a six-year-old Goldendoodle – is Facebook’s newest hero after rescuing a baby deer from drowning in a lake.
The pup’s owners – Ralph Dorn and his wife Pat, both military veterans – posted pictures and videos of Harley in the middle of the lake behind their Virginia home and ushering the fawn back to shore.
‘Not sure how the fawn got out there, but Harley obviously didn’t ask why, he just jumped into action,’ Dorn said in his Facebook post, which has been shared over 256,000 times and liked more than 113,000 times in two weeks.
Harley, a six-year-old Goldendoodle, with his new fawn friend that he rescued from a lake
Harley went into the middle of the lake to get the fawn and usher it back to shore
They paddled back to land together
Harley, once a therapy dog, never left the baby deer’s side
Harley helped push the baby deer out of the water before Dorn helped Harley to shore
In the pictures and video, Harley is seen paddling with his new friend until they reach Dorn, who’s waiting for them at the shore line.
He helps Harley out of the water while his Goldendoodle licks the baby deer.
‘Harley didn’t want to leave the fawn,’ Dorn tells PEOPLE. ‘He just kept interacting with it, licking it, caring for it.’
The next morning, Dorn said in his Facebook post that ‘Harley got restless running from window to window.’
‘I opened the front door and we could hear the fawn bleating. Harley ran into the tree line and found 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.’
‘Harley didn’t want to leave the fawn,’ the dog’s owner Ralph Dorn tells PEOPLE . ‘He just kept interacting with it, licking it, caring for it’
Ralph and his wife Pat shared pictures of the heartfelt moment on Facebook, which went viral
The morning after the rescue, Dorn said Harley was restless so he let him out. ‘Harley ran into the tree line and found 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 said on Facebook
Harley has worked as a certified therapy dog, visiting the elderly in care facilities and sitting with children during reading hours at the local library.
The story reached people in other countries, with at least one commenter saying they read about it in Italy, and made a positive impact on people.
Pat, told People that they received direct messages thanking them for sharing the heartfelt moment.
‘We were just amazed,’ Pat said. ‘We had no idea of the reaction.
‘We’re very happy that it has touched so many people, and brought joy to so many as well.’
The viral Facebook post was well received. ‘We’re very happy that it has touched so many people, and brought joy to so many as well,’ Pat Dorn said