A Melbourne couple are appealing for help to bring home a heroic homeless dog who protected them from monkeys in Thailand.
Matty Miles and his fiancée Aprille Hughes were in Rawai, in Phuket’s south, in January to train in Muay Thai for a couple of weeks.
They decided part of their training would be walking a five-kilometre trail to the Phuket Big Buddha also known as the The Great Buddha of Phuket.
They drove to the top of the track via a moped to scope it out but after travelling through the mist of a hazy Phuket morning encountered a pack of angry monkeys.
“There was fog everywhere, it was like something out of a horror movie,” Mr Miles told Yahoo7.
“I don’t know why but these monkeys, there were about seven of them, got really angry with us. I think they might have wanted our bags and they started hissing and raising their shoulders.
“I kept thinking, ‘there’s no way I’m getting bitten by a monkey and getting rabies on this trip’.”
The monkeys began to hiss and grow more aggressive and that’s when a stray dog named Burt stepped in.
“Burt protected us, she got between us and the monkeys,” he said.
“Aprille was freaking out but the dog stayed by her side.”
The monkeys continued to follow the couple around the hills as they walked around Buddha but the Thai ridgeback wouldn’t leave their side.
“She kind of guided us, walked in front of us and made sure we were OK,” Mr Miles said.
The dog also gave Ms Hughes renewed optimism after her father was diagnosed with stage four cancer.
“Aprille told me, ‘she did more than protect us – she put the fire back in my heart’,” Mr Miles said.
“I think Burt gave her some renewed hope.”
It was from there the couple, who continued training on the trail daily, visited Burt over a period of more than week – feeding her and giving her water to deal with the heat.
“Burt protected us, she got between us and the monkeys,” Matty Miles said.
Mr Miles, on one occasion, decided to get even closer to the pooch. He tested her with Dentastix and played with her to see how she would react.
“I played tug-of-war with her,” he said.
“I realised she’s quite clever and playful too.”
Bringing Burt home
The pair decided to take the pup to a vet. Mr Miles said she had a cut about 5cm wide on her back and wanted it treated.
A taxi driver who took the dog down the mountain and a local veterinarian told the couple she was homeless. They’ve also had the dog checked for microchips and found nothing.
They decided she wouldn’t be homeless for the rest of her life and estimate she’s about two years old.
“We want to bring her back to Melbourne,” Mr Miles said.
“We’ve spent about $1800 on vaccinations, blood testing and other treatments to get her ready.”
But the couple need more money to pay Jetpets, a worldwide pet travel service, to bring Burt to Australia.
Meanwhile, Burt’s being fed at an animal shelter in Thailand which the couple have been donating to.
Mr Miles said they’re prepared to bring her into a loving home.
“Aprille’s bought a heap of dog stuff for her,” he said.
“It feels like there’s more dog stuff in our place now than human stuff.”
The couple have started a crowdfunding page to bring Burt to Victoria.
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