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Yippee...Merlin has been found

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For those DOLers who saw the news two week's ago about that poor man, Simon, who was killed near Monto. His dog, Merlin, ran away after the crash and locals have been searching for her.

Well she's been found:



Merlin the missing dog emerges from the bush a fortnight after owner's death

Updated about 10 hours ago

A hand patting a black dog in a cage with a scratch on its head

A dog that bolted into southern Queensland bushland after surviving a car crash that killed its owner has been found alive, more than two weeks later.

Key points:

  • A local farmer had spotted Merlin and left out the dog's bedding with food
  • Merlin was found lying on the bedding on Tuesday morning
  • Simon Hannan's family say they are thrilled Merlin is safe and well


Merlin the kelpie-cross had been travelling around Australia with its Victorian owner Simon Hannan, but he was killed by a car between Monto and Eidsvold, west of Bundaberg, last month.

The distressed dog ran into the bush from the crash scene.

After Mr Hannan died in hospital, the North Burnett community banded together in a bid to help his family track down the dog, the final link to their loved one.

Hopes for Merlin's survival faded quickly last week, with the drought-affected area offering up challenging conditions for the domestic dog's survival.

But for the past five days, Eidsvold farmer Bill Kerle has been tracking Merlin's paw prints on his property, which is only a couple of hundred metres from the crash site.

Mr Kerle said he spotted Merlin on Monday morning, and decided to set up a trap for the dog near his dam.

He placed the dog's bedding inside the trap, with some pork steaks, and found Merlin asleep inside the trap on Tuesday morning.

"I nearly fell off my quad bike, I couldn't believe it," he said.




Shortly after Mr Hannan's death, his mother Jan Hannan and stepfather David McDougall travelled to the area from their home in Western Australia, but were back at home when they received a call telling them Merlin had turned up.

"We believe he had put Merlin's bed out overnight and some food and she was sitting in it this morning when they found her," Ms Hannan said.

"We're so thrilled to have his dog and know that she's safe and well."

Ms Hannan said there are no words to describe losing a son, but that finding Merlin offered some comfort.

"We can't bring my son back but we can find his dog and we can make sure that she now has a good life."

A farmer looking at a black dog in a metal cage


She said she was very grateful to the farmer who recovered Merlin.

"He has our undivided gratitude. We will personally be talking to him, he's a very humble gentleman," Ms Hannan said.

"He will not want public recognition but we will be doing something privately with him."

The search for Merlin gained national attention after Mr McDougall posted about it on Facebook.

Two people patting a black dog inside an open cage


It has since been shared more than 17,000 times, with people coming from all over to help.

Mr McDougall said it had been a difficult fortnight.

"We weren't expecting a good outcome," he said.

"It may have taken 15 days, but Merlin has returned so there is always positives.

"To have her recovered now is … all that stress is gone. We've had to deal with the tragedy of Simon and to be able to get total closure.

A dog standing in a shallow creek


"For all Simon's family and friends and everyone that was out there looking for Merlin, it's just a huge relief," Mr McDougall said.

He said Merlin seems to be in good health.

"She's not distressed, not in a bad condition — there's going to be a lot of pats and cuddles and dog treats in her foreseeable future."

Mr McDougall thanked the people of Monto and Eidsvold for their help and hospitality.

"The amount of support and encouragement, and advice has been truly outstanding," he said.

"We stayed in the local pubs in Monto, they wouldn't let us pay for accommodation.

"I just can't thank the community, Monto and Eidsvold [enough], they are fantastic people and we know they're having a raw deal at the moment with rainfall and that sort of stuff with the drought."


Edited by Boronia
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That's wonderful news...for the boy's parents ..they now have something tangible  on which to pin memories/affection , and of course for Merlin , who has "home" ..without her best mate ..but next best thing  :love: 

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