Recently, Tiny the cattle dog mix found himself in a spot of trouble. The pooch was floating along on a piece of driftwood in Smokehouse Bay near Great Barrier Island in New Zealand in the middle of the ocean. As he was floating along, the crew from the Inshore Patrol Vessel HMNZS Hawea, a part of the Royal New Zealand Navy, spotted him and decided to lend a hand.
A four man crew launched an inflatable boat to receive the dog and he was whisked away onboard and taken to shore. They searched the area trying to find someone who knew the dog for hours before they got a lucky break. While the sailors thought the dog was a victim from a series of storms that wracked the area previously that week, it turns out Tiny was just a victim of his own curiosity.
Tiny served as a sea dog for the 20-year-old crayfishermen Ben Ngawaka. Tiny was aboard Ngawaka's boat heading for port in the nearby town of Fitzroy when Tiny jumped onto a massive driftwood log that the fisherman had stopped to examine.
"I was going into Fitzroy to get some supplies – I just carried on and thought I'd pick him up on the way home," Ngawaka said. However, the Navy had spotted him before his owner's return.
Tiny was returned to Ngawaka where he was described as being calm about the ordeal and all the subsequent media attention that followed. Ngawaka insisted the event hadn't changed his 8-year-old companion much: "He's still the same. He just got a feed and that was it."
While many pet owners touted the fishermen for his irresponsible treatment of his dog, Ngawaka insisted that his dog had been doing those sort of things for years. He had always come back for him in the past and wasn't just going to leave him drifting out there.