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Australian cattle dog survives on remote island for four months

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For all of us here at BACKPACKER, the word survival conjures up some serious issues. making last-ditch efforts to stay warm, rationing food and maybe even some MacGyver-esque gear alterations if need be. At its’ worst, surviving for a few nights can be hell, imagine doing it for a few months. Gulp.

Well, for an Australian cattle dog named Sophie Tucker- yes, named after the famed entertainer- her animal instincts seemed to have taken charge while she survived on the largely uninhabited tiny Australian island, St. Bees, for four months. 

It was on a sailing trip with her owner, Jan Griffith, near the Queensland coast last November, when the pooch fell overboard and was presumed to have drown when the boat hit a rough patch of water. 

She seemed doggone-determined to survive though, swimming five nautical miles, through choppy, shark-invested waters no doubt, to St. Bees Island, where, for four months she survived on baby feral goats. Before you ask, we’re pretty sure Sophie didn’t have one of these doggy tents with her either.

The dog, which was an average house dog before going overboard, garnered quite a wild and fierce reputation for herself on the island, not accepting food handouts or generally not letting anyone near her. 

After a friends’ suggestion that the wild dog might be their Sophie Tucker, the owning couple contacted rangers and last week, after four long months, Sophie, looking quite haggard and in need of a bath or some pooch-pampering, was reunited with her owners. 

As you can imagine, the event was quite the emotionally-filled, tail-wagging sight as the dog bolted out of a cage and “just about flattened us,” owner Jan Griffith told the AAP news agency

“She surprised us all. We wish she could talk, we truly do.” 

Want more on Survivordog? Check out the SkyNews coverage with photos and a video interview with her owner.

–Matt Draper