A border collie mix named Tilly became a national sensation after he was thrown from a car in a highway crash in Idaho and ran off to herd sheep on a nearby farm.
Tilly, a 2-year-old Border Collie Heeler mix, was riding in the rear seat of his family’s car on Sunday, June 6, when they collided with another vehicle on Idaho State Highway 41. The impact ejected Tilly from the car and sent him running away from the scene.
His owners, the Oswald family from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, searched for him for 10 hours on Sunday with the help of several strangers who witnessed the crash. They also posted his photo and description on Facebook, hoping someone would find him.
“People just kept going out—2:30 in the morning some people were out looking for him,” Linda Oswald, Tilly’s owner, told The Spokesman-Review.
Meanwhile, Tilly had found his way to a sheep farm owned by the Potter family, about 1.5 miles away from the crash site. There, he joined their dog Hooey, who looked similar to him, and started herding sheep with him.
“He was trying to herd them,” Tyler Potter, one of the brothers who found Tilly on their farm, told The Spokesman-Review. “He’ll herd anything. When I go to the dog park, he tries to herd the people into one group.”
The Potter brothers noticed something was off with their dog on Tuesday morning when he did not respond to his name and had darker fur than usual. They checked the viral Facebook post and realized they had found Tilly.
“Hooey really comes right away when you call him, and this dog put its ears back and started running off,” Travis Potter, another brother who found Tilly on their farm, told The Spokesman-Review.
They contacted the Oswalds and reunited them with their beloved pet. Tilly had lost some weight and was thirsty but otherwise healthy.
“We’re just happy that he’s home,” Oswald told KHQ News. “We’re just happy that he’s safe.”
Tilly’s story captured the hearts of many people across the country who were amazed by his instinct to herd sheep and his survival skills.
“He’s a little bit wild,” Zane Potter, another brother who found Tilly on their farm, told The Spokesman-Review. “He’s a handful.”
– Dog ejected from car during Sunday crash found on sheep farm, herding sheep, KHQ News, June 8, 2021
– Dog Thrown From Car in Accident Found Herding Sheep on Nearby Farm, Newsweek, June 10, 2021
– Idaho dog found after car crash herding sheep at farm, Idaho Statesman, June 10, 2021
– Dog missing after highway crash found herding sheep days later, UPI Odd News, June 9, 2021