Stray dog blows minds

Kelpie cross Esky is in training to become an RAAF explosive detection dog after being saved from the Esk pound.
Kelpie cross Esky is in training to become an RAAF explosive detection dog after being saved from the Esk pound.

TALK about going from the doghouse to the penthouse.

Esky the kelpie-cross is one lucky dog.

Two months ago the precocious pup was on death row at the Esk pound.

Today she is in training to become a RAAF explosive detection dog and will soon help protect some of the world's most important people.

RAAF dog handler Corporal Heath Webber is Esky's trainer and one of the people directly responsible for the lovable pup's stay of execution.

After contacting the Somerset Regional Council to assess unwanted dogs for the RAAF, Cpl Webber was pleased to stumble across such a promising pooch.

"Esky was supposed to be put down but she has pretty much saved herself by wanting to chase a ball," Cpl Webber said.

"She was a bit timid in the kennels but we put that down to shyness.

"We did an assessment with her by throwing the ball and her ball drive was just fanatical. That's the key.

"If they are desperate to chase the ball and hunt for the ball they are a very good candidate for training."

Esky is two months into her training and already is ahead of the curve.

Cpl Webber expects her to be ready after eight months, compared to an expected training period of up to a year.

Equally happy about Esky's new career is Somerset Regional Council local law supervisor Steve Burgess.

Mr Burgess said Esky had been a dumped dog who stood little chance of a reprieve until the RAAF came along.

"She was found wandering down in the Fernvale area and had no identification or microchip," Mr Burgess said

"We get quite a lot of dogs dumped on the Brisbane Valley Hwy and often they are kelpie breeds. We had tried to rehouse her but with no success, so she was set to be euthanised in two days."

Mr Burgess said the RAAF looked for specific attributes in their dogs and had trialled about 20 dogs from the Esk facility.

So far Esky is the only dog to make it through to training.

"It makes my boys feel great. Euthanasia is not a job any of us like," he said.

"Anything that gives a dog a second chance is good for everyone."

Esky will soon join other RAAF explosive detection dogs that have been used at events such as the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting and the visit of the US President.


  • Esky was dumped at Fernvale with no identification or microchip.
  • She was set to be put down two days after she was saved.
  • Her fanatical ball chasing ability saved her life.

Topics:  animals esky

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