Dog forgets all about risk of drowning in a marsh as soon as drone dangles a sausage

It's not the wurst idea in the world


Man's best friend, though far from the dumbest animal, isn't that smart either. And if there's one sure-fire way to get a dog moving, it's the promise of a snack.

In another fine example of drones being used as a force for good, this week a dog was rescued from mudflats in Hampshire on the south coast of England because it realised that chasing a sausage dangling from a UAV would be a preferable outcome to drowning as the tide rose.

Or rather the tantalising treat overrode any instinct the pet had to avoid the incoming water.

Millie, a Jack Russell-whippet, was spotted in the perilous landscape near the town of Havant after escaping her owners while out on a walk, The Guardian reports. The tide was coming in but she would not respond to attempts to encourage her to safety.

Then some bright spark from Denmead Drone Search and Rescue had a "crazy idea." They checked Civil Aviation Authority regs and the maximum takeoff weight of their gizmos to find they could get away with attaching one sausage.

"One of the local residents on the beach where we were flying from supplied us with the sausages – I think they were from Aldi," said the team's Chris Taylor. "The woman cooked them up for us and we attached them with string."

Aldi or not, the effect on a dog would be similar to flying a bucket of caviar over the Conservative Party Conference. The drone pilot deftly waggled the banger in front of Millie and, sure enough, she followed to higher ground.

Only to run off again. Like we said, dogs aren't that smart. However, away from the danger of the marsh, she glimpsed a familiar face – owner Emma Oakes' father – and dived into his arms.

Emma said: "Relief just poured over me. It was just absolutely fantastic to have her home.

"Millie really likes food and she'll eat anything you give her … raw carrots, cucumber – but she much prefers sausages. Meat is her favourite food, so dangling a sausage was probably the best thing they could lure her with.

"Millie's a rescue dog so she's quite timid. She loves being at home more than anything and now she's back all she's doing is sleeping. She just sleeps and eats and looks at you as if to say: 'I'm resting, leave me alone.'"

Drones don't have a great rep in the UK. In 2018, Gatwick Airport was grounded for three days because of reports of one in the airspace that many think didn't even exist. But stories like this remind us that UAVs do indeed have beneficial roles to play.

Make mine a wagyu steak when I'm next stranded on a mountainside. ®

Similar topics

Narrower topics


Other stories you might like

  • Twitter founder Dorsey beats hasty retweet from the board
    We'll see you around the Block

    Twitter has officially entered the post-Dorsey age: its founder and two-time CEO's board term expired Wednesday, marking the first time the social media company hasn't had him around in some capacity.

    Jack Dorsey announced his resignation as Twitter chief exec in November 2021, and passed the baton to Parag Agrawal while remaining on the board. Now that board term has ended, and Dorsey has stepped down as expected. Agrawal has taken Dorsey's board seat; Salesforce co-CEO Bret Taylor has assumed the role of Twitter's board chair. 

    In his resignation announcement, Dorsey – who co-founded and is CEO of Block (formerly Square) – said having founders leading the companies they created can be severely limiting for an organization and can serve as a single point of failure. "I believe it's critical a company can stand on its own, free of its founder's influence or direction," Dorsey said. He didn't respond to a request for further comment today. 

    Continue reading
  • Snowflake stock drops as some top customers cut usage
    You might say its valuation is melting away

    IPO darling Snowflake's share price took a beating in an already bearish market for tech stocks after filing weaker than expected financial guidance amid a slowdown in orders from some of its largest customers.

    For its first quarter of fiscal 2023, ended April 30, Snowflake's revenue grew 85 percent year-on-year to $422.4 million. The company made an operating loss of $188.8 million, albeit down from $205.6 million a year ago.

    Although surpassing revenue expectations, the cloud-based data warehousing business saw its valuation tumble 16 percent in extended trading on Wednesday. Its stock price dived from $133 apiece to $117 in after-hours trading, and today is cruising back at $127. That stumble arrived amid a general tech stock sell-off some observers said was overdue.

    Continue reading
  • Amazon investors nuke proposed ethics overhaul and say yes to $212m CEO pay
    Workplace safety, labor organizing, sustainability and, um, wage 'fairness' all struck down in vote

    Amazon CEO Andy Jassy's first shareholder meeting was a rousing success for Amazon leadership and Jassy's bank account. But for activist investors intent on making Amazon more open and transparent, it was nothing short of a disaster.

    While actual voting results haven't been released yet, Amazon general counsel David Zapolsky told Reuters that stock owners voted down fifteen shareholder resolutions addressing topics including workplace safety, labor organizing, sustainability, and pay fairness. Amazon's board recommended voting no on all of the proposals.

    Jassy and the board scored additional victories in the form of shareholder approval for board appointments, executive compensation and a 20-for-1 stock split. Jassy's executive compensation package, which is tied to Amazon stock price and mostly delivered as stock awards over a multi-year period, was $212 million in 2021. 

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022