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

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Higher booze prices 'best way to combat abuse'

Should taxes be raised further on alcoholic drinks?

Report examines best ways to combat alcohol and violence

8800 complaints about water, energy bills in Queensland

Maree Skellern from Tweed Heads Kindy Care showing the dramatic changes in the latest power bill.

More than $320,000 in billing adjustments

'UNREAL': Paddler videos moment whale swims under his board

Surfer Ziggy Albert (blond hair) and his paddle buddy on their way to Old Woman Island enjoyed the encounter of a lifetime when a mother whale and her calf popped up in front of them.

You couldn't find a better way to start the day than this

Local Partners

Wakeskating champ hit with $200 fine at school pick-up

AUSTRALIAN wakeskating champion Cody Murphy has copped a $200 fine for forgetting to carry his driver's license when making a five minute trip to school.

WATCH: NASA space station is live, see the view from above

In this picture taken from NASA's International Space Station from April 2015, the SpaceX Dragon is captured with the 57.7-foot-long Canadarm2 robotic arm before its installation to the Harmony module.

See the world from a new perspective as space station passes Rocky

Community garden set for Palmwoods

Kay Nixon at the Palmwoods Community Gardens will be hosting a launch day and inviting the ecommunity to come along and sign up.

Parcel of land to supply sustainable gardening for community

Barry Gibb is coming to Bluesfest 2017

FANS: Barry Gibb talks to a fan next to a cardboard cutout of his young self.

Aged 70, Gibb has re-launched his solo music career with a new album

Blake Lively hosts 40th party for Ryan Reynolds

Blake Lively throws husband Ryan Reynold's 40th birthday bash

What's on the big screen this week

Benedict Cumberbatch in a scene from the movie Doctor Strange.

MARVEL'S latest superhero Doctor Strange makes his debut.

Trump 'worked like hell' to pick up John Travolta's wife

John Travolta and Kelly Preston

Trump wrote comments in tribute to Travolta's son Jett

RECAP: The Bachelorette S2E11 - top three battle it out

The Bachelorette finalists, from left, Matty Johnson, Lee Elliott and Jake Ellis.

It's Matty, Lee or Jake. Who will Georgia choose?

Jake left broken-hearted by Bachelorette break-up

Jake Ellis is one of the final three bachelors on The Bachelorette.

GEORGIA chooses Lee and Matty J as her final two suitors.

MOVIE REVIEW: Doctor Strange is out there in a good way

Benedict Cumberbatch in a scene from the movie Doctor Strange.

MARVEL'S new superhero takes viewers along on his mind trip.

Tough times in CBD: Woolies says goodbye Ipswich

Woolworths in the Ipswich Mall.Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times

The last day of trading will be January 1

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

How to fit 100,000 new homes on the Coast

Property, real estate, housing, suburb,  August 2016

Fitting 2m extra people in south-east Qld in 25 years a balance

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June