IT'S A MIRACLE: Larry returns home just in time for Santa
Lost from a Bluewater kennel, Larry the loveable pooch has found his way home on Christmas Eve, much to the relief of his fur parents - who will now have a Christmas they won't soon forget.
John and Sian Baird checked Larry into a Bluewater kennel on Tuesday before setting off on their Christmas holiday in Brisbane.
But they didn't even make their flight when they'd found Larry had managed to escape.
What followed was a frantic search, fuelled by fears of the dangerous Bruce Highway nearby, but made easier with the help of the Bluewater community.
Sian said it was a Christmas miracle when the Bluewater community came to the rescue, keeping an eye out for their beloved pet.
"When we got there (to start looking) we were just lost, he'd run across the highway initially so he's a very lucky dog," she said.
"He had been spotted down Mckinnon Road while he was just running, and he still had his lead on.
"He'd been so lucky, a lady told us that a truck had just missed him, it makes me wonder if he tried to get back to the kennels."
A call from a stranger early on Christmas Eve led John and Sian to Larry.
Following morning rain, he was found exhausted as a rainbow shone overhead.
A trip to the vet revealed Larry is suffering some minor scratches with no prevailing health concerns.
John said it's been the best and worse Christmas all at once.
"We know that communities are good here in Townsville and surrounding areas but I was amazed with how Bluewater responded to it," he said. "They were actively looking for him.
"We were both spitting feathers to start with to a certain degree, because we were thinking we'd get him back fairly quick, but then we had to cancel our trip and our flights, and then by this morning (Christmas Eve) to get him back was the best Christmas.
"We'll have lots of memories about visiting cities at Christmas, this is a Christmas we are never, ever, ever going to forget."
Originally published as XMAS MIRACLE: Larry returns home just in time for Santa