Josh Dargue, Dale and Evie O’Brien with Tilly in Valla Beach.
Josh Dargue, Dale and Evie O’Brien with Tilly in Valla Beach. Gemima Harvey

Tilly's rescue a happy ending

THERE has been a happy and remarkable ending to an unusual lost dog story at Valla Beach

Tilly was missing for three days before a local teenager heard what sounded like “a child crying”.

Josh Dargue said he was checking the surf at a headland near South Valla when he heard the distraught noises.

“I started climbing down the cliff in search of the crying sound and after about 15 minutes of going through thick bush I saw a dog,” the 13-year-old said.

“She was caught up in the bushes and couldn't get out so I put her under my arm and climbed back to the top.”

Josh started walking home and on the way, in what was his second fateful encounter of the day, ran into Tilly's owner.

Dale O'Brien, his wife, Natalie, and their young daughters, Evie and Zoe, were devastated when their two-year-old staffy disappeared from the park where they were playing on July 4.

They put ‘lost dog' posters up every- where and began to assume their friendly family pet had been stolen.

Mr O'Brien said he was getting a coffee before work from the Headland Cafe when Josh came up the hill carrying a clearly appreciative Tilly in his arms.

“I was in complete shock and people around me recognised her from the posters and said ‘that's the lost dog',” Mr O'Brien said.

“She was hungry and had a sore back leg but was one happy dog to be home.”

Mr O'Brien said Josh was a “hero” for climbing down the cliff to rescue Tilly. When Josh went to visit Tilly yesterday, the Staffy greeted him affectionately and stayed close by.

“She knows he saved her,” Mr O'Brien said.



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