Rusty makes long trek to big smoke

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Pic­ture: Tom Zaun­mayr

The Pil­bara’s lat­est rein­car­na­tion of Red Dog was re­united with his own­ers last week­end. Rusty took a 1400km truck ride from Onslow to Perth re­cently while his hu­mans were down south at a wed­ding.

Meet Western Aus­tralia’s lat­est Pil­bara Wanderer.

Rusty is an ex­citable one-yearold brown and tan kelpie from Onslow, who made a name for him­self re­cently af­ter go­ing walk­a­bout while his own­ers Reece Hay and Jayde Archer were at a wed­ding down south.

His wan­der ended with him be­ing found 80km out of town and hitch­ing a 1400km ride with truckie Noel Cas­sidy to Perth.

Mr Cas­sidy de­cided to take Rusty to Perth as he had bro­ken free of his col­lar and had no iden­ti­fi­ca­tion aside from a mi­crochip. “I spot­ted him out in the mid­dle of nowhere and it was the last thing I was ex­pect­ing,” he said.

“I thought you might see a calf, cow or kan­ga­roo out there, but not a bloomin’ dog.”

Mr Cas­sidy was orig­i­nally wor­ried Rusty was a wild dog, lead­ing him to reach for the safety of his cab.

“When I got in the cab and closed the door this dog just came over, sat down and looked up at me, one ear up, one down, think­ing ‘what’s up with you?’,” he said.

Ex­pect­ing a long stay-over upon his re­turn to Perth, Mr Cas­sidy bought a leash and dog food, but Face­book users man­aged to iden­tify the own­ers within a mat­ter of hours.

“I was quite amazed when Reece’s mum rocked up and Rusty . . . just tore down the garage to Reece’s mum, that was a sight to see,” he said.

“When I found out Reece was in Mar­garet River I fig­ured the dog was try­ing to get to his owner, like Red Dog.”

Mr Cas­sidy is plan­ning to catch up with Mr Hay, Ms Archer and Rusty on his next trip up this way.

The Onslow cou­ple have two dogs, and Rusty is not the reg­u­lar es­capee. “Mia our bor­der col­lie is usu­ally the one who es­capes and goes walk­a­bout but she al­ways comes back,” Ms Archer said.

“I don’t think we will ever re­ally know what hap­pened or how he got there, to be hon­est.

“He might have liked his lit­tle trip and want to do it again.”

Ms Archer said there was a small, per­haps fan­ci­ful, chance Rusty was re­lated to the fa­mous Pil­bara wanderer him­self.

“I al­ways joke around about that,” she said.

“There are a lot of kids around here who al­ways say ‘look there’s Red Dog’ when they see him. He did come from a sta­tion near Roe­bourne, so there is a chance he is re­lated I guess.”

Mr Hay said he had half the town out look­ing for his dog, and was sur­prised at how quickly he was tracked down through so­cial me­dia.

“This is the first time he has re­ally tried to get out and go any­where,” he said.

“He usu­ally has a col­lar on too, but he had bro­ken that a day ear­lier, so luck­ily he was mi­crochipped.”

Mr Hay said Rusty was be­side him­self upon be­ing re­united with his own­ers and Mia.

Pic­ture: Tom Zaun­mayr

Rusty and Red Dog.

Pic­ture: Reece Hay

Jayde Archer, Reece Hay and Mia the bor­der col­lie, re­united with Rusty in Onslow.

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