Family’s dog found after a year missing, 600km from home
IT'S not every day that a person finds their dog after it has been missing for a year, let alone for it to have been found nearly 600km away.
But that's exactly what happened to Casino family Tiffany Blayden, partner Ashton Johnson and daughter Sienna, after receiving a call from a Newcastle number to say their American staffie, Tyson, was found.
"We have family in Newcastle so I thought it was them," Ms Blayden said.
"But when I answered, I was hysterical. I couldn't stop crying, my daughter came out and asked what's wrong, I told her they've found Tyson."
Ms Blayden said the woman who found him worked with the Newcastle Rescue Dogs and she lived in Kurri Kurri, west of Newcastle.
"We were lucky because the street he wandered into, apparently there's only one house, right on the edge of Kurri," Ms Blayden said.
"The woman who lives there ... she just happened to be off sick that day, saw him walk past, went out the front, scanned his chip and called us."
The family couldn't wait to see their dog again, so set off in the car on Sunday night straight after Mr Johnson finished work.
"Tyson was staying with my partner's mum and they had been saying he wasn't responding to his name," Ms Blayden said.
"The vet said he hadn't responded to (his name) Tyson.
"When we got down there Ashton called out his name, and he just ran straight to him. I think he recognised us.
"Tyson just run straight to the car and jumped in. We didn't leave for about half an hour but he didn't budge from the car. It was like he was saying 'don't leave without me'."
The couple were wary of Tyson initially, particularly with a six-year-old daughter and a new baby on the way.
"My worst fear was that he would come back and be snappy or aggressive," Ms Blayden said.
"The first time I fed him, I tried moving the bowl away from him, just with kids around I wanted to try it. He was fine.
"He's a bit skinnier, but other than that he has been looked after.
"We were worried because a lot of people suggested dog fighting ... the vet and the rescue lady think he might have been passed around as a breeding dog."
Tyson has been settling back into life at Casino and apart from a bit of "mopeyness", he has been very happy.
Ms Blayden said she was also relieved Tyson was getting on well with the family's other dog, a poodle-cross called Molly, who they had only had for a month.
"We got Molly as a Christmas present for Sienna," Ms Blayden said.
"We missed having a dog. Now we have two."