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. ®

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