A dog that was thrown from a car in an accident miraculously survived and turned up days later herding sheep!
The beloved pet, named Tilly, who vanished for two days after being ejected from a vehicle during an accident, has been found apparently doing the job it was bred to do — herding sheep.
Linda Oswald’s family and their dog, Tilly, were driving along Idaho State Highway 41 on Sunday when they crashed into another car, launching the dog through the rear window, The Spokesman-Review reported.
Nobody was seriously hurt in the accident, they said, but when Linda Oswald climbed out of the car, she noticed Tilly running as fast as he could across northern Idaho’s Rathdrum Prairie.
“I tore off after him, but he soon disappeared, and we couldn’t find him,” said Oswald, 68. “We spent the next 10 hours looking for him, and I was worried I’d never see him again. I was so upset — Tilly’s my baby.”
The unharmed but stunned dog then ran off, prompting an immediate search with at least six complete strangers who witnessed the crash and pulled over along the highway to help, Oswald said.
“People just kept going out,” Oswald said, noting that the search lasted about 10 hours on the day of the crash before the family went home. “We were sore and exhausted.”
“Dozens of people stopped everything they were doing and went out and looked for him,” she said. “In the middle of the night, people were out calling for him. I was extremely grateful.”
But after nearly two days of searching, there was still no sign of Tilly.
“At night, I couldn’t feel him with my feet at the bottom of the bed, and that really made me sad,” said Oswald. “I couldn’t stop crying.”
Found Through Facebook
Oswald said the family then wrote a Facebook post that included a picture of the 2-year-old border collie and red heeler mix and more than 3,000 people shared the post. That’s when Tyler, Travis, and Zane Potter recognized the dog in the photo as the same dog they saw on their family farm south of Rathdrum – two days after the collision!
The brothers initially wondered why their Australian shepherd looked a little different, but then they realized they were looking at a dog that did not belong to them, Mike Oswald said they later told him.
Both the Potters and Oswald think Tilly was drawn to the farm and their sheep.
“I think that dog was trying to herd,” Travis Potter said.
Oswald said if it weren’t for the farm owners seeing the post, he would still be out there. Linda Oswald said she was not surprised that the pup she’d adopted from a neighbor when Tilly was six weeks old ended up on a sheepherding adventure.
Since he was very young, Tilly nipped at the heels of other animals, children, and adults and tried to round them up, Oswald said.
Border collies take naturally to herding because they were originally bred for that purpose, according to the Border Collie Society of America.
Tilly’s herding instinct can be a little embarrassing sometimes, said Linda Oswald, who noted that she often has to explain to people that Tilly isn’t trying to hurt them when he nips at their heels.
“But he’s truly the smartest dog I’ve ever known,” she added.
Tilly is eager to please and responds quickly to commands at home, she said. He will run to the bedroom to fetch her slippers if asked.
Although it isn’t known where Tilly was before he was spotted on the sheep farm, Oswald said she believes he was making his way home after the car accident and became distracted.
“He saw all those sheep and just wanted to go to work,” she said.