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Dog lost in car crash found days later herding sheep on nearby farm

Tilly, a male border collie/red heeler mix, is shown in this photo posted on Facebook. Linda Oswald/Facebook

A dog lost in an Idaho car crash on Sunday has been found alive and well after seemingly restarting his life as a sheepdog on a farm near the collision site.

Linda Oswald and her family lost Tilly, a two-year-old border collie-heeler mix, when their truck collided with a vehicle on a state highway near Rathdrum on Sunday around noon, the Spokesman-Review newspaper reports. Tilly was ejected through the truck’s rear window during the collision, and he was last seen sprinting away across the prairie.

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No one was injured in the crash but the Oswalds were distraught about Tilly, and they spent several hours searching the area with a few Good Samaritans in hopes of finding their lost dog.

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“People just kept going out,” Oswald told the Spokesman-Review. “Two-thirty in the morning, some people were out looking for him.”

Their efforts were in vain so Oswald turned to Facebook, where she wrote a plea for help.

“Mike and I were in a car accident,” Linda Oswald wrote in the post, which has been shared thousands of times. “We are good but my dog Tilly is missing. he was thrown out and was seen running north.”

Tilly turned up two days later, when a local family realized there was a new volunteer among the sheepdogs on their farm.

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Brothers Travis and Zane Potter say they knew the strange new dog was likely Tilly, because their grandmother had told them about Oswald’s Facebook post.

“It wasn’t like, ‘Oh, where did this dog come from, how did it get here?'” Travis Potter told the paper.

He added that a few sheep had escaped from the family’s pasture that morning, and he suspects that Tilly saw them running and acted on instinct.

“I think that dog was trying to herd,” Potter said.

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The local sheriff rolled up to ask about Tilly shortly after she was found, so the Potters handed him over and he was reunited with his family a short time later.

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Oswald says it was a relief to finally have her dog back. She was also not surprised to learn that he’d been moonlighting as a sheepdog.

“He’ll herd anything,” she said. “When I go to the dog park, he tries to herd the people into one group.”

She said the dog was healthy and very thirsty upon returning home.

“The first thing is, he ran in and drank out of the toilet, which he’s never done,” Oswald said. “He was so thirsty.”

Oswald added that she cried “every day” after losing Tilly, so it was a relief to get him back in one piece.

“It was ridiculous, but you get so emotional over your pets,” she said.

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