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Pet dog survives four months lost at sea

Tuesday 07 Apr 2009 12:00a.m.

Pet dog survives four months lost at sea

An Australian cattle dog who fell off her owners' boat in November and presumed drowned has been found alive - living alone on an island five nautical miles from where she was lost, surviving by eating baby goats.

Sophie Tucker, named after a famous vaudeville star, was found by rangers who occasionally patrol the largely uninhabited island. How she managed to swim to the island through shark-infested ocean is anyone's guess.

The rangers believed she was a wild dog until her owners, Jane and Dave Griffith, heard the story of the dog found on St Bees island, and got in touch.

"We thought that once she had hit the water she would have been gone because the wake from the boat was so big," says Mrs Griffith.

"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," says RSPCA vet Vicki Lomax.

Sophie has since readjusted to home living.

"She surprised us all," says Mrs Griffith. "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."

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