21 Apr 2022

Faye returned home after a big adventure

From Afternoons, 1:20 pm on 21 April 2022

A dog lost in the Kaimai Range has been found by a local woman and her trusty blue heeler Jacko.

The missing dog - named Faye - belongs to a Whangārei family, and disappeared on Tuesday after they got into an accident on State Highway 2.

It was raining heavily when their truck slipped on the wet road, rolling four to five times before coming to a stop. Thankfully, the family were not seriously hurt, but Faye was thrown from the window and bolted into the bush.

Brenda Crook with Faye the dog she rescued

Brenda Crook with Faye the dog she rescued Photo: Brenda Crook

Kaimai local and dog lover Brenda Crook took it upon herself to find Faye, she told Afternoons.  

The first day searching with her “little red dog” yielded no results, she says.   

“We scoped out a lot of the bush, walked grid patterns in the bush, walked the highway barriers, talked to all the farmers, walked through all the paddocks and the fence lines and then one of the other local ladies Linda came along and we called and called and called her. And after four hours, I was really tired and went home.”

The next day she decided to bring her Australian blue heeler Jacko along.

“He's really good at finding animals. We lived in Australia, so he would always find snakes and rabbits and now he's been back in New Zealand, he'd always find rabbits and if there's something stuck, we found a sheep in a culvert a couple of weeks ago, so I knew he would be the boy.”

Jacko was on the scent straight away, Crook says.

“He kept saying to me c’mon mum, come over here, come and look here, come follow me. And sure enough off the track, we went into the bush where it's really thick and he let out this little howl and there she was, there was little Faye.”

Faye was shaken and very scared, Crook says.

“She ran off and fell into some trees. Were able to get her, but she was so frightened in so deep, she would never have come out of there, it was very lucky.”

Faye’s paws were swollen and bleeding, she says.

“We scooped her up and other people had come to help at this stage, they were kind enough to bring loppers so we were able to cut our way out of the bush. And we all took turns taking her back along the pathway, back to the ute carrying her, she’s a heavy little girl.”

Faye’s making a good recovery now after a restful night with her rescuers.

Faye with her rescuers, including Jacko the Blue Heeler who found her

Faye with her rescuers, including Jacko the Blue Heeler who found her Photo: Brenda Crook

“I took her back to my house last night and just kept her calm, fed her, kept her warm and I’ve got my other little fur baby. So, we all slept together. And I just kept my hand on her all night to try and reassure her.

“I took her to the vet this morning and apart from being dehydrated, her paws being swollen, and she's actually in a remarkable way really given what's happened to her.

"Being thrown from a vehicle, running down the road…spending the night in a bush no food, no water.”

She’s to be reunited with her owners tomorrow, Crook says she had to do something when she heard about Faye.

“These people were from the North, they had nobody here in the area to help them. I just had this feeling that I have to go and find that dog I have to go and find her.”

Jacko’s seen his own share of suffering, she says.

“When I got Jacko, we were living out in the bush, I got him for a guard dog, but he'd been so badly treated, he wouldn't let me touch him for a whole week, he would just stand out in the corner. Because we lived in like a bush block, miles from town. And he would just stand in the corner and not let me touch him for like a good month.”

Jacko would also make a dash for it whenever she left the property.

“I moved into town and Jacko just kept up the same behaviour, just run off all the time and I said to him Jacko that's it, if you go now we're not looking for you anymore. And it was almost like he understood, and he never ran away again.

“Since then, he's been my loyal best buddy.”