FOLSOM, La. (WGNO) — A family dog is being hailed a hero after he protected two young girls who had gotten lost in the woods behind their home.

It happened in Folsom in the 81000 block of N. Willie Road on Monday evening.

7-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, it was just a rollercoaster of emotions,” said the girls’ mother, Mary Bourg.

The community quickly rallied together. Over a hundred volunteers searched the area as well as local law enforcement who deployed ATV’s and helicopters.

“Everyone in this community dropped what they were doing and just on the spot – it didn’t matter, they were there for us,” said Mary.

In the end, it was Artemis barking, alerting anyone close by of where they were. The girls and dog were found around 9:30 p.m.

“He also tried to bark at the helicopter,” said Abigail. “He was trying to get help anywhere, let anyone know where y’all were!” added Mary.

It was a surreal moment the second the kids were reunited with their family.

“One thing I can say the movies got right,” said the girls’ father, Justin Bourg.

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.