AFTER a 3000km round trip from Goondiwindi to Snowtown, Rusty the intrepid Australian terrier is back in the arms of his loving family.
Rusty made his way to South Australia earlier this month, while his family was on holidays, by stowing away in a truck driver's carriage.
Truckie Paul McDowell took Rusty home to Snowtown where his family took care of him while waiting to reunite him with his owners.
Rusty's first night home on his cattle property consisted of cuddles from the Scudamore children, Eliza and Sam, and some tasty bones picked out by Eliza to welcome him home.
The three-year-old canine captured the heart of the nation and made a special celebrity appearance at school this morning.
Laura Scudamore said the family had struggled to understand why everyone was so interested in Rusty, but had come to understand people liked stories with a happy ending.
"People in Goondiwindi are happy to be in the news for a good reason. Rusty loves the attention and seems to be quite happy to pose for photos wherever he goes," she said.
"We are very excited he is home, the kids are super excited."
His journey back entailed a courier from Snowtown to Adelaide, a flight from Adelaide to Brisbane and finally a four-hour car ride from Brisbane to Goondiwindi.
"The trip home was all care of Jetpets, we are so grateful to them," she said.
The Snowtown family believed Rusty was sent to help them in a hard time.
On New Year's Eve their dog was hit and killed by a distracted driver who was talking on his mobile phone.
Mr McDowell's partner, Heather Reid, said Rusty's infectious personality brightened up their home.
"We miss Rusty already," she said.
Rusty's thirst for adventure was well and truly quenched during his Snowtown sojourn, which included his first trip to the beach.
"He was just amazed by the beach," Ms Reid said.
Now the family has decided it will buy an Australian terrier.
If you want to keep abreast of Rusty's adventures you can follow him on Instagram or wait until Rusty's aunt Sally Scudamore releases her children's book.
"She had already started writing a book on Rusty last year... now she has lots more to add to it," Mrs Scudamore said.
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