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Australian Cattle Dog Survives 4 Months Lost at Sea

In November 2008, an Australian cattle dog called Sophie Tucker, (named after the famous 20th century vaudeville star), fell overboard in bad weather while sailing with her owners off the coast of Queensland, Australia.

Her owners, Jane and Dave Griffith were on a sailing holiday in the Whitsundays. A storm had set in while they were at sea, and the couple were busy battling with the vessel when the incident occurred.

“We hit a rough patch and when we turned around the dog was gone,” Mrs Griffith said.

“We were able to back track to look for her, but because it was a grey day, we just couldn’t find her and we searched for well over an hour.”

Sophie’s owners were convinced there was no way she could have survived the rough waters of the ocean that day.

“We thought that once she had hit the water she would have been gone because the wake from the boat was so big.”

However, the couple had underestimated the survival instincts of their cattle dog by a long margin.

Amazing Tails - Cattle Dog Survives 4 Months Lost at Sea 4

Sophie Tucker with her owner Jane Griffith

Unbeknown to the Griffiths, Sophie Tucker had not succumbed to the waves at all. In order to stay alive, she had managed swim five nautical miles through the turbulent, shark-infested waters to St Bees Island.

And there she survived alone for 16 weeks. To fend off starvation Sophie hunted wild baby goats and drank rainwater. Finally, after 4 months as a regular Robinson Crusoe, Sophie Tucker was captured after she was spotted by rangers spear fishing off the coast of the island.

At first, they thought they had caught a wild dog until Mrs Griffith, who had heard a cattle dog had been captured in the region, contacted them.

“She was seen on St Bees, and they discovered she was eating baby goats,” Mrs Griffith said.

“She had become quite wild and vicious. She wouldn’t let anyone go near her or touch her. She wouldn’t take food from anyone.”

Canine experts in Australia perceived Sophie Tucker’s story of survival as nothing short of miraculous.

St. Bees Island

Sophie Tucker swam 5 nautical miles in stormy waters to reach St. Bees Island

Vicki Lomax, an RSPCA vet, said her breed and her level of fitness had helped.

“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,” Dr Lomax told brisbanetimes.com.au

“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.” Dr Lomax commented.

“If this had been a Pomeranian, I don’t think it would have been a happy ending – it’s hair would probably have been too heavy.”

Since her rescue, Sophie Tucker was quick to readjust to the more domestic way of life.

“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,” Mrs Griffiths said. “We wish she could talk, we truly do.”

[Image Credits: Daily Telegraph]

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  • Lisa Naarseth Myklebust

    What a stupid fucking dog. If she had just swam left, the trip would have been many times easier and shorter.

    • Lily

      Lol, what a stupid comment. I hope you’re just trolling… for your sake…

    • Kristian Simonsen
      • UhhhREAD

        X marks where the dog fell over board. It swam to St. Bees Island. Lisa was being mean, but at least she read the article.

        • MUDDAFUQA

          WOOSH! MOTHAFUCKA

    • Farts McShithead

      If you fell over board in this exact same scenario, you would have died for sure. You stupid fucking dog.

    • roy

      That’s hilarious! This is not trolling just funny. What an amazing luck dog.

    • Xillra fe

      I cant stop laughing

    • Sceptic Ali

      yeah, dog being praised around the world for her courage and tenacity is “stupid”, while the bitch being castigated here is the smart one. yep!!

      • Annoyed

        Woosh, right over your head.

    • Johnny Brown

      I suppose you don’t understand how currents work, do you?

      • Elena

        i suppose you don’t understand how jokes work, do you?

        • MrKolocop

          it was a shitty joke.

          • Annoyed

            Shitty joke, yes, though it has no bearing on the fact that Johnny Brown failed to see that said shitty joke was indeed a facetious comment not meant to be taken seriously.

        • neosporin

          Aren’t they supposed to be funny?

          • Annoyed

            Funny or not, it was pretty obvious it was meant to be facetious, not serious.

    • bcarter3

      You’re calling the animal stupid?

      You’re the one giving advice to a dog on a web site comments board.

      • Annoyed

        You’re taking a JOKE seriously?

        You’re the one giving criticisim on a completely facetious comment.

        • bcarter3

          Pot. Kettle.

          Sounds like you woke up on the wrong side of the kennel this morning.

          • Annoyed

            Lol. Says the one who threw a fit for no reason. Nice attempt to deflect, but you’re not fooling anybody. There’s no saving face for you here, sorry.

    • Shari Tyler

      Always someone ruining a wonderful story.

  • Ken Jansson

    I find a reason to say this just about every day – Dogs are awesome!

  • Searched for an entire hour oh wow LOL

    • ni91

      One hour searching out at sea for a dog that fell overboard isn’t too less though

    • Bert

      My thought exactly! A whole hour!

  • TJ VD

    That dog has a strong “will to live.” What an incredible story of an organism’s “fight for life” over its “acceptance of death.” I’d estimate over 80% of Commenters would have put their figurative hands up and let their body/mind be conquered by some threat long before rescue- including myself. Cool canine!

  • Who names their dog Sophie Tucker?

  • Rostradamus

    So this begs the question, if a domesticated dog can figure out how to hunt and kill to survive, why do all the so call experts say predators like lions and tigers raised in captivity will not display the same survivalist abilities?Hmmmmm.

    • Moderator

      First of all, you don’t know what “begs the question” means. Try reading this.

      Secondly, there have been many attempts to release captive big cats over the decades and they just aren’t very successful. Cats need to learn at a very young age how to do wild cat things or they never learn them. That isn’t some big secret; it’s been proven many times over.