Nfld. & Labrador

Hitchhiking dog gets home by truck, ferry and plane

Roxie, a 5-year-old border collie, is back home in Corner Brook after an incredible journey by truck, ferry and airplane to Nova Scotia and back.
Robert Bradbury was reunited with his dog Roxie after her three-day, two-province trip. (CBC )

Roxie is back home in Corner Brook after an incredible journey by truck, ferry and airplane to Nova Scotia and back.

The border collie's trip started last Sunday when she was with her owners, Robert Bradbury and his wife, at their cabin on Pinchgut Lake, 20 km west of Corner Brook.

Bradbury said they were getting ready to head back to Corner Brook at about 5 p.m. when Roxie heard gunshots, got spooked, and took off.

Bradbury and his wife scoured the area, but couldn't find their dog. After a brief return to Corner Brook, Bradbury's wife went back to the cabin to stay overnight, hoping that the dog would come back, but she saw no sign of Roxie.

Owner has hunch about dog's fate

By Monday, Bradbury said he had a hunch about what may have happened to his dog.

"If she's not injured or she's not on the side of the road, I had this funny feeling that she might be on the other side of the Gulf," recounted Bradbury.

Later that day, a caller from Nova Scotia tracked down Bradbury on his cell phone.

"He was a truck driver, driving an 18-wheeler, and at that time he was going through Antigonish with the dog," said Bradbury.

Bradbury said the driver told him he spotted Roxie on Sunday evening, on the Trans-Canada Highway near Pinchgut Lake. 

"He saw the dog running down the highway at a substantial rate alongside the highway. 'It looked stressed' is what he said,"  marvelled Bradbury. "He stopped a huge truck for the dog and reluctantly the dog did come to him and got aboard."

Truck driver took dog with him

Roxie, back home at her owner's cabin near Corner Brook. (CBC )

Bradbury says the dog was wearing a collar with a city of Corner Brook dog tag. The driver had tried reach city officials on Sunday, but no one was working.

So, according to Bradbury, Roxie took the Port aux Basques to North Sydney ferry with the truck driver to Nova Scotia.

A family member in Nova Scotia picked up the dog from truck driver, and arranged for Roxie to be flown from Halifax to Deer Lake. By Tuesday night, Roxie was back at home.

Bradbury said Roxie seemed to take her two-province adventure in stride, and he joked that Roxie had accumulated enough air miles for another trip.