An Australian dog named Basil managed to survive for about a month after being locked inside a house when his owner died from a long standing illness at Port Lincoln.
The plucky blue heeler’s instinct for survival kicked in and he resorted to the only option he had – drinking water from the toilet.
Neighbour Colin Peterson says police found Basil on Thursday trapped in the bathroom.
“I think he had the run of the house for a while,” Mr Peterson says.
“He would have had food for a while because there was a big bag inside and he eventually found out that the toilet was the best place to go for water. But he’s a biggish dog and he’s tried to turn around in the toilet and what he’s done is pushed the door shut and that’s where they found him. I think it’s just marvellous that he’s survived.”
Mr Peterson heard the dog’s cries for help – but didn’t think Basil was trapped.
“We thought we heard Basil barking … but it was muffled and we thought it was coming from the other neighbour’s place,” he said.
Mr Peterson believed his neighbour was away with work for the past month or so – something he did regularly. But noticing letters piling up he eventually realised something wasn’t right and contacted the real estate agent who contacted the police.
When Basil was released, Mr Peterson says food and drink was his top priority.
“It looked like he lost about 3kg,” he said. “He drank two five-litre water containers in no time flat. And he was very, very hungry.”
But even after surviving Basil may now have to deal with another battle. Mr Peterson and his wife already own three poodles and don’t know if they can cope with another dog.
“I’d like to keep him … he’s a nice dog … but its hard,” he said. “It’s very sad really,” Mr Peterson said.
Police say there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of Basil’s 37-year-old owner.
The cause of death is unknown and police will prepare a report for the Coroner.