Vet nurse Judy Allen rescued “Mary” from the swollen Mary River yesterday morning. The old Staffordshire terrier was found clinging to the river bank just below Gympie Veterinary Services near Kidd Bridge.
Vet nurse Judy Allen rescued “Mary” from the swollen Mary River yesterday morning. The old Staffordshire terrier was found clinging to the river bank just below Gympie Veterinary Services near Kidd Bridge. Craig Warhurst

Vet nurse rescues dog from river

YOU wouldn’t really blame Judy Allen for half expecting a Labrador and a cat to wash up next.

The Gympie vet nurse knows one thing for sure, the ancient Staffordshire terrier that she rescued from a swiftly flowing, swollen Mary River yesterday at about 7.15am had been through a traumatic ordeal much like Luath, Bodger and Tao in Shelia Burnford’s classic story The Incredible Journey.

Judy says she arrived as usual at Gympie Veterinary Services yesterday, parking her car under the clinic when she heard a dog howling.

At first she thought it was a canine patient but realised it was coming from the river. Investigating further, she found the source of the noise.

“I saw this little old face,” she said.

Peering up from the muddy bank, exhausted and unable to pull herself out any further, was one very misplaced dog.

It’s enough to have everyone shaking their heads over the improbability of where she had stranded herself, let alone survived.

“Of all the places,” Judy said, “and it was the only place where there were no trees.”

Washed up somewhere else, her howls of anguish might never have been heard. Exhausted, injured and arthritic, the chance of her struggling through river debris and the tangle of vegetation that lines the waterway, then making it up the bank would have been impossible.

Dubbed “Mary”, she is thought to be at least 10 years old. She was wearing a council tag on her collar, with a Kia Ora address listed but the record shows up as a male cattle dog cross.

Vet Lachlan Campbell said “Mary” is completely exhausted.

“She’s an old dog with severe arthritis and she’s injured a hind leg,” he said. “She couldn’t have got out of the water due to exhaustion and injury… she’s possibly aspirated some water… we’ve given her antibiotics to counter that… her left eye has had quite a reasonable trauma… who knows how far she’s swum… she’s done pretty well.”

Everyone is very keen for Mary to be reunited with her owners. Please contact Gympie Veterinary Services on 5482 2488.

Gympie Times


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