Border collie Archie is back home to stay in Launceston, Tasmania, much to the relief of owner Rachel Spillane, rangers, police, farmers, Qantas, pet transporters, construction workers, golfers, airport staff, a vet and Canberra's dog community.
After flying from Tasmania via Sydney Archie busted out of the Qantas freight terminal at Canberra Airport on Tuesday. On the run overnight and all of Wednesday he was caught in a barbed wire fence near the new Majura Parkway on Thursday morning.
Archie had stopped traffic on Pialligo Avenue, visited the new IKEA store twice, was spotted on Fairbairn golf course, befriended a dog at "Springfield" horse stud and starred on "Dogs on the Run" Facebook page, run by a boutique dog-walking service.
Owner Rachel Spillane had up to 14 border collies at Launceston until she separated from her husband and started to re-home them, including Archie, a two-year-old red sable collie given to her when he was 14-weeks-old and shaken with anxiety issues. Travelling with Halo, a female blue merle border collie, the dogs were bound for Yass to a couple who had agreed to re-home them
On Wednesday night Qantas and Jetpets Animal Transport flew Ms Spillane to Canberra to join the hunt for her terrified dog.
"They realised it was going to be pretty much impossible to catch him without me," she said.
"I guess they felt partially responsible, but I have no desire to lay blame on anyone or anything, I'm just so relieved everyone pulled together," Ms Spillane said. "The Canberra community were just amazing. We had offers left, right and centre helping."
Dogs on the Run partner Carolyn Kidd's Facebook post received 300 likes, dozens of comments and shares.
"Many people got involved, rangers, the Australian Federal Police and a bunch of dog lovers who heard about the drama through Canberra Lost Pet Database," Ms Kidd said.
A Canberra Airport spokeswoman says Archie was outside of the airfield, nevertheless the airport's community Facebook site spread word of sightings.
At "Springfield" horse stud on Majura Road Archie befriended Teddy, a chocolate border/labrador collie owned by Paul Keir's daughter. "He was too timid, too frightened to catch," Mr Keir said later.
"We let him go, we didn't put any pressure on him," he said. Mr Keir spread the word throughout Majura valley farms.
A couple travelling toward Canberra spotted Archie and rang Ms Spillane. "Jetpets franchise had three vehicles and three guys in hot pursuit, someone had eyes fixed on him. He kept running. Even when I called him he was too scared to stop," Ms Spillane said.
"They were jumping out of cars and trying to get to him, jumping through barbed-wire fences, and all those sorts of things."
About 10.45am on Thursday a barbed-wire fence ended Archie's escapade. "He ended up hanging upside down from his leg," Ms Spillane said.
"When we tried to get him out of the fence he did not realise it was me and actually bit me. He literally put holes in my hand and all of a sudden his eyes changed and his tail started wagging and he realised it was me. He had a mouth full of blood because he had bitten his own tongue and he was absolutely petrified, beside himself."
To hold him in her arms was overwhelming. Ms Spillane says she can never watch movies like Lassie Come Home ..." they just make me cry too much".