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Boronia

Dog left stranded by grounded Malaysia Airlines flight makes 17,000km journey home

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Boronia   

 

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-24/long-journey-home-for-rescue-dog-stranded-on-flight-mh122/9354268?section=good-news

Dog left stranded by grounded Malaysia Airlines flight makes 17,000km journey home

Updated yesterday at 10:59am

Timothy the Maltese Terrier
 
 

An unaccompanied pooch onboard a faulty Malaysia Airlines flight which was forced to make an emergency landing in Central Australia has made it home after a "ruff" 17,000 kilometre journey.

Timothy the Maltese terrier was forced to spend a night in Alice Springs last week, along with the 224 passengers who were onboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH122 when one of its engines failed.

The six-year-old rescue dog was travelling on his first-ever flight from Sydney via Kuala Lumpur to London, where his family was relocating.

"My worst nightmare was that he'd just been left in a hold crate on the runway with no access to food or water," said owner Susan Merrell, who was travelling with her family on a different airline.

Instead, the Alice Springs community leapt into action, offering food and shelter for the night, and even a play date with a local dog.

Pet Flyers owner Peter Melville, who organised Timothy's journey, said it was not unusual for pets to fly unaccompanied on long-haul flights.

"We often have to pick up pets from a different airport [due] to weather, but I can't recall ever having to send anyone to the airport after an emergency landing," he said.

"When you hear the words 'emergency landing' and you know you've got a pet on board, then it sends a bit of a chill down your spine."

MH122 on tarmac in Alice Springs

 

However, the saga was far from over for the globetrotting pup.

Not only did he miss the connecting flight from Kuala Lumpur after arriving a day late, but his immigration paperwork was stuck on the original plane undergoing repairs in Alice Springs.

"The whole plan was that he would arrive at Heathrow at 5:35am and that our flight would land at 11:30am," Ms Merrell said.

"We could have gone straight to the plane to pick him up, but of course things didn't turn out that way."

After four days and more than 17,000km of travel, the dog was released from Heathrow Airport quarantine and reunited with his doting owner.

"He was actually quite emotional, he was shaking, he was crying and yelping, but I think overall he was just really excited to see us and we were to see him too," Ms Merrell said.

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