After almost three days missing, a dog has made a 25 kilometre trek home.
On Boxing Day, Tanja’s Jane Gordon left her 12-year-old dog Kai with her partner in Bermagui, before heading on a planned two-day trek of Mount Kosciuszko.
The next morning Kai was gone.
Kai was found days later in Wapengo by passersby, just a few kilometres from home.
I don’t know how, but he knew I was coming, he was just waiting at their front door.Tanja's Jane Gordon
“He is a rescue dog and my friends say he has some huge separation issues,” Ms Gordon said.
When her partner returned home from a surf the next day Kai had gone, and scaling a four-metre fence was his only way out.
“I drove back home and went to all the beaches we walk along, I was even looking for him in cars just in case someone had found him,” Ms Gordon said.
“By the morning of the 29th I knew I just had to be still, and I had a clear sense he would be back.”
Ms Gordon was unaware at the time two women had found Kai just down the road, he followed them home and they fed him Christmas leftovers of roast pork and apple sauce before stumbling across Ms Gordon’s desperate social media post and sent her a message.
“I saw the message and just burst into tears,” Ms Gordon said.
“I was just so elated, I was so happy. I think I slept all night just stroking his head.”
Some animals use the sun, or the stars, and even magnetism for navigation. Others, like dogs, can use scent.
While nothing is certain, dogs use overlapping circles of familiar scents to get around, and some studies have shown mammals have iron in their ears, which may link to magnetic fields.
Kai’s strong sense didn’t end there – the women who found him said he appeared to know Ms Gordon was on her way to bring him home.
“I don’t know how, but he knew I was coming, he was just waiting at their front door,” Ms Gordon said.
“He jumped straight in the car.”
Chosen for his calm personality in 2012, Kai has built a close bond with his new family.
“You just can’t leave him anywhere,” Ms Gordon said with a smile.