Maremma dog's epic journey

Miss Brown (on the right) and her sister Black.

Miss Brown (on the right) and her sister Black.

It started in Hazelbrook in April. Maremma dog Miss Brown and her sister Black were being driven to their new home, having been collected from the breeder in Kangaroo Valley.

But when their new owner opened the car door, the dogs bolted.

Black was found within a short time (and later returned to the breeder). But Miss Brown, then just 12 months old, is still missing.

She has been on an epic journey across the Mountains and into the Central West. She was last seen more than 150 kilometres away in Blayney.

She initially spent several weeks in the grounds of Blue Mountains Grammar in Wentworth Falls. She turned up each night where a local who managed to approach her fed her.

But she fled from the school after being scared by storms and by people flashing torches looking for her.

Maremmas are bred to protect livestock and Miss Brown has never been on a lead or in a kennel. She is unused to people, except for those who bred her.

The breeder, Carol Bertram, said she would never hurt either animals or people but she is very easily spooked.

"They aren't your normal dog. On a farm they are very headstrong and do what they want."

Ms Bertram is amazed that Miss Brown has managed to survive fox baits, cars, freezing temperatures and even snow on her journey.

"She's incredible. The number of baiting zones she's been through - I just can't believe she's still alive."

After Grammar, the next sightings were in Leura, then Katoomba, Mt Victoria, Hartley and Lithgow.

More storms hit, leaving her even more frightened, but she continued on to Cullen Bullen and Portland before ending up in Blayney.

A small group of people has banded together to try to catch her, including vets, rangers, trackers, darters. Drones have been used.

Lawson resident, Michelle Robinson, who was helping to feed her at Grammar, even set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for the services of some of the experts.

Ms Robinson said a WIRES volunteer got very close to Miss Brown in Blayney, armed with a tranquilliser gun to sedate her. Unfortunately, he had only had experience with kangaroos and just as he was about to pull the trigger she ran off.

In Blayney, Miss Brown has been seen around the Nestle Purina pet food factory but that was some time ago. Ms Bertram is now waiting for a couple of consecutive confirmed sightings before setting off for Blayney.

"We're three-and-a-half hours away so it isn't just a quick trip," she said.

Anyone who sees Miss Brown is asked not to approach her but instead to call Ms Bertram on 0401 697 534 or Ms Robinson on 0410 500 133.