Nomad reunited with dog lost in Outback for 6 days

Published: August 8, 2021
Grey nomads and missing dog

Like many solo travellers, Len Simpson has come to increasingly rely on the company and security offered him by his dog.

With a bond forged by thousands of kilometres of adventures on the road together, it was absolutely devastating to Len then when his beloved pet, Jack, went missing.

Having started their travels in Tasmania, the pair were camping near the Great Northern Highway, 195 kilometres south of Broome, when the dog disappeared. 

Jack was usually let out during the night for a toilet break, but always come back to the camp … but not this time. 

“When he didn’t come back, I thought, ‘He’s just gone for a bit of a walk’,” Len told the ABC. “When I got up in the morning and he wasn’t back, I tried to track him in the scrub and, because it’s spinifex and pindan country, it’s quite easy to follow, so I followed him roughly six kilometres in the bush.”

After the first day, Len did not see any more of Jack’s tracks, so he used his old school compass to walk more than five kilometres every day in a new direction, meticulously searching the sand for Jack’s tracks.

The ABC reports that, after seven days, Len was just about to give up and head home when a missing dog post put up by his daughter, Karen, suddenly went viral.

Incredibly, a couple then saw Jack wandering near the Aboriginal community of Bidyadanga, and recognised him from the social media posts.

After the dog was picked up, vets in Broome were amazed he had survived seven days in the bush without food or water, and had also avoided other perils such as being bitten by a snake, or ingesting 1080 poison. 

As for Len, he is just incredibly relieved, happy and grateful to have his travelling companion back.

“I was amazed that he was still alive,” Len told the ABC. “With the lack of water out there, I didn’t think there was much hope for him.”

Len and Jack will now continue their journey around WA together … but Jack’s night-time toilet trips will likely be a lot more closely supervised from here on in.

  • Have you ever lost a pet, or nearly lost a pet, while on the road? Comment below.
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Shane Collins
5 months ago

Nice to have a good news story in these challenging times

Marj Davis
5 months ago

Fantastic news. What a relief to get his mate back.

Ross Mitchell
5 months ago

In 1978 I was wandering around the bush in the western Australian Goldfields of which I have done numerous times over the years this area was Widgiemooltha a 60 k trip from any thing that resembled a town when my kelpie Fred bounced out of the back of the old falcon Ute after a fair sized kangaroo, he was usually responsive to my calls but not this day, I called and called for hours, out where we were was a place visited by the dogger from Norseman so I knew there was baits in the area, with the onset of dark I was resigned to the fact my old mate Fred the dog would get a bait for sure home I headed with a heavy heart to tell the kids and my wife what had happened on our cruise out bush. Went back every afternoon for a week and once again called and called for Fred until 5 days later, right where I lost him in comes my dog walking on his front legs with his back legs tucked up tightly against his belly, with a big smile on my face I gently picked him up he was super light and placed him in the Ute .I figured that he may have caught up with the old roo and had copped a beating to his back, he layed around for a few weeks before being able to walk on all fours, Fred lived a ripe old 16 years old

Guy Williams
5 months ago
Reply to  Ross Mitchell

Lucky dog.

DianneEnsinger
5 months ago

We just purchased a Marco Polo gps
tracker . One in the collar and a locator to find your pet . I couldn’t imagine the worry

Ric Moffet
5 months ago

I have never let any of my dogs wander when we are away from home, just because of this reason. My dog, whom comes with me in his trailer on my bike, is only allowed to roam no more then the length of his rope which is 5 metres. he gets a good run, when we stop for the day, but only with me on the other end o the rope.

gael
5 months ago
Reply to  Ric Moffet

Great that Len has such a great companion, however, no dogs nor cats should be left to wander at night. Aside from 1080 and sthrynine baiting, there are environmental considerations.

Elle Atkins
5 months ago

I am happy for Len that his Dog survived. The Dog is fortunate he didn’t eat a 1080 bait. 1080 poison has been used in Australia for over 60 years. It causes inhumane deaths to any animal that eats it. There are humane alternatives to its use. There is a growing swell of people opposing its use and there are now Pastoralists who have reintroduced Dingos to their land. The Dingos take care of the feral animals and balance is reintroduced to the ecosystem.

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