Rex rescued twice on his way to new home
THEY say cats have nine lives, but for a local dog, he's already been rescued twice in his 11 months, and his latest adventure is a testament to his good nature, and the kindness of others.
Rex was surrendered to Grafton's Happy Paws Haven, a shy dog, but extremely affectionate and loyal, and he waited at the shelter, waiting for a new owner.
His rescuer, as it turned out, would come from right across the country.
"We got an inquiry for Port Hedland, she found him on Pet Rescue website which is one of the places we list our dogs," Happy Paws operator Sally Rogers said.
"She was travelling across to Brisbane, so she came over, got a van, stayed the night here and then began the drive back."
For Rex's first rescuer, Elisabeth Schwarz, she said there was an instant connection with the young dog.
"I really liked the dog. I live in the Pilbara, and it's very hard to come by a dog I like up there," she said.
"So I found Rex, and he's quite a special little dog, I liked the look, the quirkiness and he was very attached.
"So I went and got him, and started to drive back."
However Rex's journey to a happily-ever life would take another turn at their first stop on the long journey back to Western Australia.
In the Southern Highlands, on a break, Ms Schwarz let Rex out to do his business.
"We walked down this track and there was a bridge over a gully. He had gone ahead and I went down to have a look at the bridge," Ms Schwarz said.
"And he came bounding back... and he jumped up onto the frame of the bridge and went straight over the edge.
"I just saw him fly down there and I heard a bump... it was at least 15 metres down there. I was just screaming and crying, and then I saw him down there."
Ms Schwarz began to climb down the steep gully to reach Rex, and found him with blood coming from his mouth and his right leg on a funny angle.
"I pulled him out of the water, and tried to pull him back up the hill, but it's a steep hill and he's a heavy dog and I couldn't get my footing," she said.
"So I stabilised him, and then I rang the SES."
The SES came in droves, with a large volunteer crowd forming a human line that handed Rex up on a light stretcher to safety, calling a vet in preparation to take care of the badly injured dog.
"The vets said he'd need a lot of surgery, and asked me whether I wanted to go ahead. It was going to be quite expensive," Ms Schwarz said.
"And I just couldn't say no. I just kept seeing him, and he was so lucky to be alive, I just had to do it."
So after more than five hours of surgery to fix the extensive injuries, the vets told Ms Schwarz that they doubted he'd be up for a couple of days.
Come the next day though, Rex greeted his new owner at the vets running, eating, and recovering better than anyone expected.
"So they've let me take him home, and I just had to get the dressings changed at every stop we made," she said.
Now they've made their way back around the country, and while there will be a long road to recovery for the dog, Ms Schwarz said she wouldn't change a thing.
"I think he is the exact dog I want, he's active, intelligent and and can travel, and he bonded so quickly with me and me to him," she said. "He is a very special little dog."
Ms Schwarz said she wanted to pay tribute to the Wingecarribee SES, who are still calling to check on Rex's progress, and have even setup a GoFundme page to help with the vet bills.
As for Rex, he's taking it all in his stride on his long trip home, though you suspect he might also respond to another name in the future - Lucky.
If you want to donate to the vet bills, the GoFundme page can be found here. Any excess money will be donated to the SES unit.