A pet dog cast out to sea has been found more than four months after she fell overboard. The Australian Cattle Dog, named Sophie Tucker, was thrown from her family’s boat at the end of November, as the owners navigated the choppy waters off the northeast Queensland coast. “We hit a rough patch and when we turned around the dog was gone,” one of the owners, Jane Griffith, told The Telegraph. “We were able to back track to look for her, but because it was a gray day, we just couldn’t find her and we searched for well over an hour. “We just thought that once she had hit the water she would have been gone because the wake from the boat was so big.” But Sophie Tucker, named after the famous American vaudeville entertainer, defied the odds by swimming nearly five nautical miles to a nearby, largely deserted island. After a several month stay on St. Bees Island, Sophie Tucker, then thought to be a wild dog, was picked up by park rangers last week. They suspect Sophie survived the ordeal by hunting and consuming baby goats, given the animals’ carcasses they located. Though the Griffiths say they had basically given up hope that Sophie survived her fall, when they heard that park rangers had found a cattle dog on St. Bees, they contacted the rangers nonetheless. On Tuesday, the couple met the rangers onshore after they brought the lost dog back to the mainland.
They say they were shocked to find Sophie Tucker aboard the bot. “She surprised us all. She was a house dog and look what she’s done, she’s swum over five nautical miles, she’s managed to live off the land all on her own,” Griffiths told The Telegraph. “We wish she could talk, we truly do.” Despite the time away, Sophie reportedly recognized her owners instantly. “We called the dog and she started whimpering and banging the cage and they let her out and she just about flattened us,” Griffith said. “She wriggled around like a mad thing.” Roughing it on her own supposedly changed Sophie’s docile nature, as Griffith told The Australian that the dog had “become quite wild and vicious.” “She wouldn’t let anyone go near her or touch her,” she said. “She wouldn’t take food from anyone.” Now reunited with her owners, Sophie appears to have returned to her old, domesticated self. “She’s settled in well back at home now,” Griffith told the Daily Mail. “I think she’s appreciating the air conditioning.” Vicki Lomax, a Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, told The Telegraph that Sophie’s breed made her better equipped to make do on her own. “Cattle dogs are probably the most suited type of dog to survive something like this, but it would have been a major ordeal for her,” Lomax reportedly said. “Five nautical miles is an incredibly big distance to swim for any type of dog and I dare say the current would have helped her along a bit, but she is lucky she hasn’t been taken by a shark. “If this had been a Pomeranian, I don’t think it would have been a happy ending—its hair would probably have been too heavy.” news from thememagazine.com
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