Sophie: The Incredible True Story of the Castaway Dog

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Overview

The story that became a global sensation: Sophie, the Australian cattle dog who was lost at sea and swam six miles through shark-infested waters to a remote island where she survived in the wild for five months.
 
It was just another day in paradise as Jan and Dave Griffith, along with their blue cattle dog, Sophie, motored out of Mackay Marina for a gorgeous weekend at sea. But when the sky suddenly darkened and the waves turned fierce, ...

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Sophie: The Incredible True Story of the Castaway Dog

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Overview

The story that became a global sensation: Sophie, the Australian cattle dog who was lost at sea and swam six miles through shark-infested waters to a remote island where she survived in the wild for five months.
 
It was just another day in paradise as Jan and Dave Griffith, along with their blue cattle dog, Sophie, motored out of Mackay Marina for a gorgeous weekend at sea. But when the sky suddenly darkened and the waves turned fierce, the unthinkable happened: Sophie disappeared overboard. Her heartbroken humans couldn’t fathom the loss and could only hope their beloved pet didn’t suffer. But this true cattle dog and devoted best friend wasn’t going to give up that easily—and what followed is a remarkable tale of survival, luck, and persistence.
 
From the first day the Griffiths set eyes on puppy Sophie through that terrible October day she was lost, to Sophie’s time as a castaway and the reunion that almost didn’t happen, journalist Emma Pearse recreates the incredible journey of this canine Robinson Crusoe. An inspirational story of loyalty and the resilience of the spirit, Sophie offers undeniable proof about the unbreakable bond between humans and our pets—and that if lost, they would do anything to come home to us.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Publishers Weekly, 10/3/11
“A tender, delightful story of how a cosseted pup turned into a hardy, intrepid—and very lucky—‘supercanine,’ this book will endear itself to dog and adventure lovers everywhere.”

Kirkus Reviews, 11/1/11
“This story of canine loyalty and the power of human-animal relationships is as charming as its blue-furred heroine. A treat for dog lovers.”

Temple Grandin, author of Animals in Translation and Animals Make Us Human, August 29, 2011
“It was amazing how this dog swam to a remote island and survived to be reunited with her family. All dog lovers should read this wonderful book.”

Library Journal
“This emotionally uplifting saga of a Queensland, Australia, family who lost overboard their beloved blue heeler dog, Sophie, while on a weekend boating trip reflects the strength and loyal spirit of these people and canines….Animal lovers and survival story enthusiasts will enjoy this riveting, true store, told with strong local flavor.”

Booklist, 1/1 issue
“Dog lovers will appreciate this heartwarming story of animal survival and the ties between humans and animals.”

American Way, February 2012
“A heartwarming tale of the power of love and perseverance.”

Shelf-Awareness, 2/3/12
“Both a hero’s journey and a testament to the bond between humans and their beloved dogs…a compelling tale of hope that any dog lovers, whether they have suffered the heart-wrenching disappearance of a pet or not, will appreciate.”
 
Seattle Kennel Club. 2/1/12
Sophie packs every bit of real-life drama with an absorbing Australian accent and a bit of refreshing good fortune to boot…remarkable and crisp narrative, Sophie nourishes as well as celebrates with a richly detailed mix of passion, inspiration and hope you won’t soon forget.”

Cesar’s Way, March/April 2012
“Her story will encourage you.”
 
Richmond Times Dispatch, 3/4/12
“A miracle…and one that will touch not only readers devoted to their pets but also anyone who has known the healing power of love.”
 
HudsonValleyNews, 3/1/12
“[A] miraculous story of a brave dog who survived insurmountable odds.”
 
Oprah.com, 3/16/12
“For dog owners who have ever gazed into the adoring eyes of their pet and felt like there were no bounds to what this creature would do for them...this book will confirm that hunch.”

Publishers Weekly
Pearse, an Australian journalist, shares the amazing true story of Sophie, an Australian cattle dog who, on a boating trip with her human family, is swept overboard into the Great Barrier Reef. After a fruitless search, the devastated owners reluctantly conclude that their beloved pet has either drowned or been carried off by ocean predators. Unbeknownst to them, little Sophie swims—for up to 24 hours—to remote Keswick Island. When food and water prove to be scarce, the exhausted and emaciated Sophie undertakes another perilous swim, this time to nearby St. Bees island, where five months later, she is caught and finally reunited with her family. While Sophie’s story is riveting, Pearse’s telling drags in spots, especially when she describes how the family grieved for their lost dog; the writing is affecting but repetitious. The story shimmers, however, when the author focuses on recreating Sophie’s island experiences—through interviews with animal experts like Temple Grandin and with witnesses who noticed the castaway—and describing the joyous reunion. A tender, delightful story of how a cosseted pup turned into a hardy, intrepid—and very lucky—“supercanine,” this book will endear itself to dog and adventure lovers everywhere. (Feb.)
Library Journal
This emotionally uplifting saga of a Queensland, Australia, family who lost overboard their beloved blue heeler dog, Sophie, while on a weekend boating trip reflects the strength and loyal spirit of these people and canines. Journalist Pearse writes of how the Griffiths were sure Sophie could never have survived the over-five-mile swim in heavy storm currents and shark-infested waters to the nearest islands, but their pampered but hardy family pet somehow made it to a nearby inhospitable, uninhabited island. Facing dehydration and starvation, a desperate Sophie plunged back into the ocean two months later and braved the long swim to neighboring St. Bees island, a large nature preserve with only 14 inhabitants. Concern for the safety of the rare, indigenous koala population on St. Bees meant that, by law, the wary and reclusive Sophie's days were numbered unless she could be safely relocated. Nearly five months after her disappearance, the Griffiths were stunned to learn that a dog found on St. Bees could be their cherished Sophie. VERDICT Animal lovers and survival story enthusiasts will enjoy this riveting, true story, told with strong local flavor.—Susan Riley, Mount Kisco P.L., NY
Kirkus Reviews
Journalist Pearse tells the heartwarming lost-and-found tale of Sophie, an Australian blue heeler who became an unwitting castaway on St. Bees, an island off the Queensland coast. Sophie was a pet store puppy, "the sleepiest of a litter of otherwise bumptious cattle dogs." Although apparently disinterested in human attention, she nevertheless caught the eye of 16-year-old Bridget Griffith, who "fell hopelessly in love" with her. Gentle and affectionate, Sophie quickly won the hearts of Bridget's parents and became the "fifth child" in a family of four children. Over time she transformed them from "steadfast canine disciplinarians to utter softies" who allowed her to come indoors and lay claim to an old leather armchair, a feat no other Griffith dog had ever accomplished. When Bridget left for college a year later, the bond between Sophie and Bridget's parents--especially her father--intensified. In 2009, while the Griffiths and their canine "bestie" were out sailing, Sophie quietly slipped off the deck of their boat and into the ocean. A grief-stricken husband and wife gave up their beloved dog as lost. But against all odds, Sophie managed to swim treacherous, shark-infested waters to land on one, then another, sparsely populated island. Rejecting the humans with whom she came into contact, she survived alone for an incredible five months until she was captured and returned to the Griffiths. Occasionally overdramatized, this story of canine loyalty and the power of human-animal relationships is as charming as its blue-furred heroine. A treat for dog lovers.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780738216065
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press
  • Publication date: 1/29/2013
  • Edition description: First Trade Paper Edition
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 200,154
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Emma Pearse is an Australian journalist who lived in New York for over ten years, where she wrote for New York magazine, the Financial Times, and The Village Voice, among others. Emma lives and works between Australia and New York. This is her first book.

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Table of Contents

Map: Mackay and the South Cumberland Islands 10-11

Map: South Cumberland Islands National Park 12-13

Introduction: Lone Dog in the Wild 15

1 Every Girl Needs a Dog, Mom 21

2 The Special One 50

3 An Empty Nest, Some Sulking and a Griffith Dog Makes History 71

4 All Aboard Honey May 94

5 Dog Overboard 121

6 Something Awful Happened 153

7 The Castaway Dog 168

8 One Foot in Front of the Other 194

9 Sophie Takes Another Swim 203

10 Ruby Arrives 219

11 Robinson Blue Dog 229

12 So Near and Yet So Far 252

13 St. Bees' Koalas and a Very Hungry Dog 265

14 The Rangers Set a Trap 280

15 …. Sounds Like It Could Be Your Dog 293

16 Hey Tuck, Where've You Been? 308

17 Sophie Goes Domestic and the Story Goes Viral 332

18 Nobody Else's Girl 346

Map: Sophie's Journey 366-67

Acknowledgments 369

Further Reading 373

About The Author 377

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 12 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(8)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2012

    Heartwarming

    As a dog lover, and a huge fan of cattle dogs, the story of Sophie was heartwarming and a joy to read. I shed tears of joy when Sophie was reunited with her owners after months lost at sea. It's amazing to me that any dog conquered what Sophie did and survived.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 25, 2012

    You'll cry along with this journey at the loss and then the home

    You'll cry along with this journey at the loss and then the homecoming! What a beautiful triumphant story for humans and dogs!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2014

    Interesting true story of the lost dog

    Spends a lot of words to tell a small tale

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2014

    Hi

    I LOVED IT

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2013

    Open

    Sophie is my name hehe

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2013

    Loe it !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I love this book sooooooo much and i am only in middle school i defintly recend this book it is sad and very very good and i only like thoughs kinds of books . Love it !!!!!!!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2012

    Pages?

    How many pages are there?

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2012

    Just me and u

    Read some more people

    0 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2012

    Want 2 read

    Yeah

    0 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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