‘FAIRYTALE’: Emotional reunion after Guthalungra crash
A FOUR-WEEK search has ended in an emotional reunion for one North Queensland woman, finding her missing dog on a secluded beach.
'A fairytale ending' is how Jo Martin described the moment she found her bullarab x greyhound Izzy after her beloved companion ran away after a crash at Guthalungra.
During the chaos, Ms Martin watched a traumatised Izzy run out of a broken window and away from the crash scene.
Since then, Ms Martin had spent weeks searching for her furry friend to no avail - until she received a phone call at work on Friday.
"This guy called Jay leaves a voicemail on my phone on Friday when I'm at work and he says 'Hi, we've been at the beach near Elliot River and I think we've seen your lost dog'," she said.
"I instantly left work and started driving down there from Townsville. When we get there we realise the beach is inaccessible and we'll have to wait for the tide to go out.
"We get on to the beach about 4pm and my heart sinks a little bit. It's just kilometres of sand and all we can do is shout to her, or look for paw prints which might reveal something."
The beach is about 15kms as the crow flies from the crash site.
Ms Martin said she had almost given up hope before seeing movement in the distance.
"All I can see is ocean, beach, sand dunes, shrubs and grass and then suddenly there's a movement in one of the shrubs," she said.
"Suddenly Izzy's head pops up and I get this wave of excitement and fear rushing over me.
"I'm yelling out to her, but there's a breeze and I don't think she can hear me and she keeps running.
"Eventually, I think she realised, or the breeze stopped and she could hear me, and she let me catch up and grab her. I was just overwhelmed."
Ms Martin said she carried Izzy the whole way from the secluded beach to the car after the ordeal.
A vet check showed apart from malnourishment, sore paws and dehydration, Izzy had fared well during her four-week adventure.
Ms Martin, who has "spoiled Izzy rotten" since having her home has thanked the Guthalungra community and surrounds for their help.
"There's no way I would have Izzy back if it wasn't for the dedication and kindness of the community who helped me," she said.
"It's strange times at the moment but so many people just wanted to help me and it paid off.
"I know it was a needle in a haystack, but I was so desperate and the whole community just supported me.
"I've been keeping her quiet and comfortable as she recovers. I know every single day with her now is a gift that I didn't think I would ever have again.
"I'm very lucky to have my fairytale ending and I can't thank the community enough for their help."