One went missing, the other is dead: 3 year mystery solved
"WE've got Indy."
These were the words Joan Wallace heard over the phone late Friday while talking to Dr Brooke from the Gladstone Veterinary Clinic.
That couldn't be true, Joan said, because Indy --- a beloved black and brindle staffy --- had gone missing three years ago from her Clinton home.
Disbelieving but listening, Joan was told yes, it was the same Indy that had just been brought into the clinic by a volunteer from the RSPCA minutes ago. She burst into tears.
"I couldn't stop crying," Joan said.
"I had thought the worst, when she went missing those years ago my other dog, Boofy, also went missing. He was found dead. I thought Indy had suffered the same fate."
While its still unclear how she got there, Indy has been living out in the bush near a Burua property the past three years. She appears to have managed to stay alive by scoring meals here and there from the locals and workers.
One lady had been trying to coax Indy into her home over the years but could never manage as Indy always ran away before she got too close. The lady had only been successful in doing so today.
And then finally, after a quick pick up from Friends of the RSPCA volunteers, Indy was taken to the vet where they were able to scan her microchip, and make contact with Joan.
Joan, who is now living in Brisbane, sent her son Matthew Holmes, who is living and working in Gladstone, to pick up Indy from the vet.
A friend of Joan's is driving Indy to Brisbane tonight.
"I can't wait to have her in my arms," she said, yesterday.
"I just know she is going to remember me. I really need to see her."
Indy, who is in great shape for a 10-year-old that spent three years living in bushland, certainly remembered Matthew.
When the two were reunited at the vet yesterday, it was clear Indy hadn't forgotten, her tail in full swing as she jumped up to lick her owner's son's face.
"Indy and I had a very close bond, I just love her so much," Mr Holmes said.
"I can't believe she is here, safe and happy.
"I'm shaking just at the thought of it.
"To think she has been alive all these years, living in the bush. It's crazy."
On the night Indy and Boofy went missing, Joan, Matthew and 20-30 of Matthew's friends trekked around in the dark for 6km looking for the two dogs.
The past few years have not been easy for Joan, after the passing of her partner just over a year ago and an incident with her back that deemed her unable to work.
"I have been praying for this, I kept praying she would turn up and she has. Now she's coming back to me," she said.
"I've really needed her. It's been very hard, and she was my best friend.
"I searched and searched for her for over a year and a half after she went missing. We were inseparable, she would never get in the car if I wasn't in it, sometimes she would even sit by me if I was on the toilet."
And when Joan told her grandson, who also had a close bond with Indy, that she was coming home, she said he was ecstatic.
"'I knew nanny', he said to me, 'I knew she was going to come home one day nanny'," Joan said.
Friends of the RSPCA president Sarah Warry said it was a one-in-a-million chance Indy's owner was found.
"Things like this rarely happen," she said.
"If Indy had not been micro-chipped, it's fair to say that this wouldn't be happening right now. Especially because Joan no longer lives in Gladstone. So it really is a miracle that we have been able to bring the two back together.
"It really highlights just how important it is to get your pets micro-chipped."