Mate, don't you think you might be pushing your luck?

EDITORIAL:  Kicked, lost but lucky too

LUCKY has had his share of misadventure.

He’s survived being picked up and then dropped from the sky by an eagle, he’s been kicked by a bull and in his latest escapade, he’s been rescued from a deep, dark wombat tunnel.

It would appear the five-year-old kelpie has almost as many lives as a cat after being rescued from a burrow on a Table Top property yesterday morning.

Plumber Gary Tonkin performed the unusual rescue using optical equipment he uses in his business.

“You don’t buy this kind of equipment to rescue a dog but it came in handy in this case,” Mr Tonkin said.

Lucky had been barking at the hole the previous day and property owner Leon Martin was unsure whether he had disappeared into the hole or had gone hunting.

But the alarm was raised early yesterday after Lucky failed to appear.

Mr Martin labelled Mr Tonkin “Lucky’s hero” after the 30-minute rescue.

“We rang the SES and the Border Rescue Squad who referred us to Gary because he has longer optical equipment,” Mr Martin said.

“We had an excavator ready as well because we were convinced we would have to dig him out.

“My father was convinced he had gone in and a wombat had crushed and killed him.”

But the cattle dog lived up to his name and came running out as soon as Mr Tonkin started flashing a light down the hole.

“I was in with the camera about 4½ metres deep,” he said.

“I got the biggest shock when he came racing out, I thought it was the wombat.

“He gave me a big smooch on the nose, as if thanking me.”

Mr Martin, who bought Lucky from a Culcairn landholder when he was a pup, described him as an invaluable working dog.

“A dog like that is worth two men,” he said.

Yesterday’s encounter has Mr Martin convinced his dog has nine lives.

“He got his name after he was picked up by an eagle and found on the other end of the farm.”

Lucky also escaped serious injury three years ago while yarding bulls.

“He tried to break them up and it left him with a broken leg,” Mr Martin said.

Plumber Gary Tonkin used a four-metre cable with a camera on the end to find Lucky and shine a light to help him escape. Pictures: DYLAN ROBINSON

Plumber Gary Tonkin used a four-metre cable with a camera on the end to find Lucky and shine a light to help him escape. Pictures: DYLAN ROBINSON

Plumber Gary Tonkin with the rescued dog, Lucky.

Plumber Gary Tonkin with the rescued dog, Lucky.

Lucky looking a little scared after his adventure.

Lucky looking a little scared after his adventure.

Owner Leon Martin walks back to his property with a very relieved Lucky.

Owner Leon Martin walks back to his property with a very relieved Lucky.

Owner Leon Martin, left, holds Lucky and tells him to thank Gary Tonkin for rescuing him.

Owner Leon Martin, left, holds Lucky and tells him to thank Gary Tonkin for rescuing him.

Plumber Gary Tonkin picks up a scared Lucky who has just run out of the hole.

Plumber Gary Tonkin picks up a scared Lucky who has just run out of the hole.

Owner Leon Martin with Lucky, Tex and plumber Gary Tonkin.

Owner Leon Martin with Lucky, Tex and plumber Gary Tonkin.