WANDERING JACK: Jack the Australian Kelpie went missing before Christmas, returned around Easter, then disappeared again for another three months.
WANDERING JACK: Jack the Australian Kelpie went missing before Christmas, returned around Easter, then disappeared again for another three months. Kyogle Council

Loyal cattledog takes mysterious seven month journey

IT'S NOT everyday your dog goes missing and returns four months later.

But then its even less likely that your dog goes missing a second time, and to be found another three months later.

Richmond Valley residents Barry and Joan Cooke has three cattledogs and a companion dog.

 

Barry Cooke felt very lucky his dog, Jack, came home after it went missing for four months, but then the 10-year-old Kelpie went missing a second time and was found yet again another four months later.
Barry Cooke felt very lucky his dog, Jack, came home after it went missing for four months, but then the 10-year-old Kelpie went missing a second time and was found yet again another four months later. Cathryn McLauchlan

One of the cattledogs, Jack the 10-year-old Australian Kelpie, took off from the property for the first time in his life just before Christmas, and was not seen for four months.

"He hadn't gotten away, he'd gone away," Mr Cooke joked. "When he came back I originally thought he was chasing girlfriends.

"We were in Sydney the first time he came back.

"Wayne down at the piggery called and said 'guess what? Jack's back'.

Mr Cooke said he didn't believe it at first.

"I thought it was a bit strange for him to all of a sudden come back, we thought he was just gone."

When Mr and Mrs Cooke returned from Sydney not long after, Jack was malnourished and in poor health.

He stayed at home for about five days then took off again.

"I went looking all around but there was no sign of him, I don't know where he went," Mr Cooke said.

While his theory was that Jack was spending time with a girl, Joan's theory was that Jack was travelling around from farm-to-farm.

He turned up again in July at the Kyogle pound.

"When I went to pick him up from the pound the fellow who was letting him out wasn't there, so I was outside talking to someone else and Jack could either hear me or the ute and he was inside barking," Mr Cooke said.

"They're not silly, he couldn't see me but he knew I was there."

The family doesn't know why Jack took off like that when he'd never left their property before, but just in case they now keep all the dogs locked up at night.



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