21 May 2021

Otago dogs found after three weeks missing

From Checkpoint, 6:22 pm on 21 May 2021

A little worse for wear after three weeks of suspected bush bashing and possum wrestling two missing Dunedin dogs have been found against the odds.

The border terriers, Floss and Scruff, had been playing down the back of their Brighton property. The children came home but the dogs didn't, leaving their litter of six pups without parents.

Owner Rowan Newman pulled out all the stops in her search for them, putting up a spotter plane and a drone. Search and rescue swept nearby bush more than once  - but nothing.

So you can imagine her reaction when a neighbour delivered Scruff and Floss home yesterday.

Newman said it was "a massive relief" when she heard they had been found although she also experienced a shock and feeling of disbelief.

"When I saw their little faces it was such a cool thing to see."

Rowan Newman's dogs Scruff and Floss at the vet after being missing for three weeks.

Rowan Newman's dogs Scruff and Floss at the vet after being missing for three weeks. Photo: Supplied / Rowan Newman

However, she was distressed by the state of Floss in particular. She has blindness in one eye and her coat which was thick when she disappeared is in a thinned out state. She looks like "a bag of bones", Newman said.

"I was so shocked and I pretty much just scooped them up and I said thanks to the man who found them and said 'I'll be back' and I just rushed them off to the vet..."

Floss will be taken to an eye specialist on Monday.

Scruff is back home tonight after spending a night at the vet's. He is on antibiotics for 10 days because his skin is covered in scabs.

"He's shattered, he's absolutely shattered."

Newman believes she knows what the two dogs have been up during their adventure.

"Bush bashing, by the looks of the both of them, fighting with possums..."

She said they were found 10km from her home and probably went walking and got lost.

Newman said she had not given up hope of finding her dogs although a cold snap in Dunedin on Tuesday had her even more worried about their survival.

"We're all just so happy."

She said the family is planning a quiet celebration with the dogs.

"They're going to get new beds tonight. We'll probably just have pizza and just lots of quiet time, I reckon, and cuddles and lots of love, you know, I'm sure we'll all sleep together tonight, yeah."

Rowan Newman's dog Scruff.

Rowan Newman's dog Scruff. Photo: Supplied / Rowan Newman