PHOTOS: 'Indi' crowned Queensland's best pooch
IS THIS Ipswich pooch the best dog in Queensland?
Judges at this year's Mad Paws, Dog of the Year competition certainly think so.
They crowned Indi the Queensland champion after hearing her heart-wrenching tale of survival against all odds.
When Australian cattle dog Indi was just two-years-old she disappeared.
Indi was a shy dog. One day her owner, Bundamba woman Ellen Macaulay, took Indi for a play date at Redbank but what unfolded next was every pet owner's worst nightmare.
"The morning after I had dropped Indi off I received a phone call," Ms Macaulay said. "Overnight Indi had disappeared."
After six months of searching and hoping Ms Macaulay - who owns a second cattle dog named Sarah - had finally accepted she would never see Indi again.
Then one day, a man phoned Ms Macaulay and left a message explaining her dog had been found and was in council possession at Esk.
"At first I figured it was Sarah and I couldn't imagine how she had managed to get all the way to Esk," Ms Macaulay said.
"But then at the end of the message the man said, 'your dog Indi'. I couldn't believe it. I finished work early the next day and went to pick her up."
When Ms Macaulay arrived at the pound in Esk and saw her lost dog for the first time she was heartbroken all over again - Indi didn't recognise her.
"It was hard," Ms Macaulay said. "It took about five minutes of sniffing and looking at me before she realised who I was, then she launched at me and knocked me to the ground."
Now Indi is five-years-old and has recovered from her unexpected adventure. Ms Macaulay shared the tale as part of her competition entry which blew the judges away.
The awards received 1,514 entries with people asked to share their dog's amazing story explaining why they deserved to win.
Each state winner received a medal and Mad Paws' overall winner for Australia's National Dog of the Year Award 2017, was awarded to Jack the golden retriever from Canberra, who saved the lives of his human parents from a fire.
"Thousands of dogs go missing each year which is devastating to their owners.We want to recognise Indi for her bravery in finding her way home," Mad Paws CEO Alexis Soulopoulos said.
Today, Saturday August 26, is National Dog Day.