FOLSOM, La. (WGNO) — A family dog is being hailed as a hero after he protected two young girls who had gotten lost in the woods behind their Louisiana home. It happened Monday evening in the Village of Folsom, which is located north of Lake Pontchartrain and New Orleans.

Seven-year-old Abigail Bourg and her sister, 4-year-old Cecelia Bourg, were playing in their backyard when their Golden Retriever, Artemis, ran into the woods. The girls followed and eventually got lost.

“It’s feelings that no parent wants to go through,” said their mother, Mary. “It was just a rollercoaster of emotions.”

The community quickly rallied together. Local law enforcement deployed ATVs and helicopters and over 100 volunteers searched the area. Bourg said, “Everyone in this community dropped what they were doing and just, on the spot—it didn’t matter, they were there for us.”

In the end, it was Artemis barking that alerted anyone close by of where they were. “He also tried to bark at the helicopter,” said Abigail.

“He was trying to get help anywhere,” added Bourg. “Let anyone know where y’all were!”

The girls and dog were found around 9:30 p.m. The parents aid the reunion was surreal. As a token of their appreciation, Artemis was fed a special steak dinner. The family says they are holding on to each other—and their dog—a little tighter at night.