Australia dog hitches 932-mile truck ride

By Sam Howard
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Jan. 17 (UPI) -- A family in Australia is awaiting the return of their dog, Rusty, after the Australian terrier hitched a 932-mile ride across the country.

Staying with relatives on a Goondiwindi cattle farm while the Scudamore family, of Queensland, vacationed earlier this month, Rusty hopped aboard truck driver Paul McDowell's vehicle. McDowell didn't realize it for about 35 miles and couldn't find any houses in the area, so he kept the 3-year-old dog in his truck for the next four days as they journeyed to his home in Snowtown, South Australia.


"He just put [Rusty] on his pillow and he just slept under the air-con the whole time, while Paul had to sleep on his bag because he had no pillow," McDowell's wife, Heather Reid, told Australia's ABC News.

Rusty's collar listed a phone number for the relatives he stayed with in Goondiwindi, which helped the Scudamores track down their dog. In the time being, Reid said she's been caring for Rusty until he gets a ride home.

"We're trying to get Rusty home," Reid said. "I wasn't going to stop until I found Rusty's home, we knew he was something special because he's a special little guy."


Owner Laura Scudamore sought help online to coordinate a way for Rusty to return home and a pet transport company has offered to make the trip next week.

Less than two years ago, Rusty made a similar escape -- traveling about 125 miles to Chinchilla.

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