By Leigh Pritchard
Four days after she disappeared off a prawn trawler in Iluka, Sydney red cattle dog 'Denim And Lace' was pulled from the Clarence River by locals who saw the exhausted dog being attacked by seagulls.
Iluka residents Rick and Lyn Kolack said they saw what they thought was a turtle, more than 80 metres from shore.
Mrs Kolack said when Mr Kolack realised it was a dog, he borrowed a small boat from Riverside Caravan Park to ferry the dog ashore.
"She had just about had it, by the time Rick got to her, she wasn't paddling and her head was hardly above water," Mrs Kolack said.
The couple called the pound and fed the dog three bowls of chicken and vegetables.
Clarence Valley Council ranger Neville Frost tracked down the dog's owner, a Sydney businessman, using the dog's microchip.
Mr Frost said the man had been on a fishing holiday at Iluka.
The owner said he searched in the dark for two hours for his dog which he said was 'on the boat one minute and gone the next'.
Denim And Lace was flown free of charge by Ter- ry Gleeson and Neil Jones, of Australian Air Express and Big Sky Express, on Thursday.
"It had some seagulls attacking it but she was in re- ally good condition, probably a bit overweight for a cattle dog," Mr Frost said.
"Some dogs have got sea legs, other dogs are a bit stu- pid on the water."