Meg sprightly after being lost and broken

Meg is back on all-fours, playing with owner Andy Cunningham at their Purakaunui home. PHOTO:...
Meg is back on all-fours, playing with owner Andy Cunningham at their Purakaunui home. PHOTO: GERARD O'BRIEN
What a difference 11 months makes.

In January this year, Meg the 7-year-old Labrador-huntaway cross, vanished after being involved in a car crash.

Following extensive searches by armies of volunteers, she was found five weeks later on farmland near Purakaunui, scared, emaciated and dehydrated. One of her front legs was broken and the other dislocated.

Her survival in the wild, against the odds, earned her the nickname Miracle Meg.

After treatment at the Dunedin Wildlife Hospital, she was able to return home, and today, despite her injuries, she has made an almost complete recovery.

Her owner, Andy Cunningham, said the dog still had damage to her wrists and paws, but she was very mobile.

"Her left paw was broken and the right wrist joint was dislocated and has since fused."

Her injuries were such, Mr Cunningham initially thought Meg would only be able to walk about 2km or 3km a day.

"And for a while, that was exactly what it was like. But then her vet put her on a different drug - an anti-inflammatory painkiller - and now she's walking 10km to 20km a day.

"She walks on the Silverpeaks with us, she runs on the beach, she chases balls and things, she even races with the seagulls and barks at them when they fly overhead.

Meg, after treatment at the Dunedin Wildlife Hospital for broken and fractured legs.
Meg, after treatment at the Dunedin Wildlife Hospital for broken and fractured legs.
"If you didn't look at her legs, you would never know there was anything wrong."

However, he said her ordeal had affected her psychologically.

"She's a little bit nervous going over bumps in the road when she's in the car with us, and she's very, very possessive and wants to stay near us all the time."

Mr Cunningham said his connection to Meg was so strong because he believed she had helped him walk again after a back injury left him paralysed.

"Every day with her is a gift. Every time I see her running on the beach with her big waggy tail, I'm just so happy. She's just such a great companion.

"We're trying to put the stress of the past year behind us now, and hopefully we can make her as happy as we can for as long as she lives.

He said news of Meg's ordeal had spread so far and wide, she had become a minor celebrity.

"She even has her own Facebook page. It's called Meg's Page and it shows where she's going and what she's doing.

"It's amazing and I love it because it's a story that's given a lot of happiness to a lot of people."

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