Dog Thrown From Car in Accident Found Herding Sheep on Nearby Farm

A missing border collie was found doing what he was always bred to do: herding sheep.

After a recent car wreck tossed a family's beloved pup out of the vehicle, the frantic search for the dog ended with the discovery that the dog ran off to seemingly herd sheep on a nearby farm.

According to a press release from the Idaho State Police obtained by Newsweek, Tilly, the "2-year-old Border Collie Heeler mix" from the Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, area, has been found and sent home to his relieved family.

"Good news! Idaho State Police Troopers have learned the dog that ran off after a collision on the Rathdrum Prairie Sunday has been located," the report read. "He's safe and was been reunited with his Hayden family earlier this morning."

The news release noted that Tilly initially ran off on Sunday after a frightening car crash ejected him from the trunk of a vehicle.

"The collision [involved] the driver of a red 2016 GMC Yukon towing a white horse trailer ... [and] the driver of a silver 2005 Buick LeSabre," the report said. "The two vehicles collided in the intersection."

The Buick's driver was taken to a local hospital for minor injuries and released. Fortunately, no one else was hurt.

However, the driver of the GMC realized that Tilly had escaped after the crash tossed him out of the vehicle. Tilly's family, identified in a report by The Spokesman-Review as the Oswalds, set out searching for the dog, along with several sympathetic strangers who witnessed the crash.

"People just kept going out—2:30 in the morning some people were out looking for him," Linda Oswald told the outlet.

By the time the sun set on Sunday, the search team had looked for 10 hours.

"We were sore and exhausted," Oswald recalled.

Members of the community turned to Facebook, imploring others to keep an eye out for the border collie mix with "no tail, a dark-colored face, weighs approximately 70 pounds, and was wearing a multi-colored plaid and tan-colored collar with a name tag containing the owner's contact information," according to the police news release.

By Tuesday morning, the post had been shared about 3,000 times.

Missing border collie found herding sheep
Tilly, the adorable border collie who went missing after a recent car crash, was found doing what he was bred to do: herding sheep. Idaho State Police/Press Release

At the same time, siblings Tyler, Travis and Zane Porter realized that their family dog, Hooey, who was out working on the farm, was behaving out of character. His fur reportedly looked darker and he did not respond to his name.

"Hooey really comes right away when you call him, and this dog put its ears back and started running off," Travis told The Spokesman-Review.

Upon further inspection and after consulting the viral Facebook post, the family realized they had found the missing Tilly. Travis told the outlet that the family was impressed that the dog followed his natural instincts to herd the sheep, though they did joke that some practice would be needed, as the sheep tried running off the property.

"It's not like we don't see crazy things happening all the time," Travis said. "I think that dog was trying to herd."

Oswald confirmed with The Spokesman-Review that Tilly typically tries to herd anything and anyone he can. "When I go to the dog park, he tries to herd the people into one group," she noted.

Tilly was handed off to a passing police officer also looking for the dog, and reunited with the Oswalds, the outlet reported.

"[Tilly] was not having it," Oswald joked at the time of the reunion. "I think he was a little upset, like, 'Hey, you guys left me out on that prairie for 48 hours.'"

According to a report from KHQ, Oswald said that Tilly had lost weight since his excursion on the farm, and that he had been lapping up water all day.

"The first thing is he ran in and drank out of the toilet, which he's never done," Oswald told the The Spokesman-Review. "He was so thirsty."

While police expressed relief that Tilly was home safe and sound, they did encourage anyone who witnessed the crash to come forward.

"[Idaho State Police] continues to search for answers as to how the collision occurred that caused the dog to be ejected from the vehicle he was riding in," the news release said. "Investigating Troopers say it's fortunate everyone involved in the crash is now okay, but finding out just what happened is also important."

Newsweek reached out to the Idaho State Police for additional comment but did not hear back in time for publication.

Tilly isn't the only dog who has gone on a hilarious excursion. A TikTok went viral earlier this week after the uploader showed how embarrassed a neighbor's dog became after he accidentally entered the wrong house. Last month, another dog managed to save a young girl allegedly being chased by a stranger.