Few positive things come to mind when one hears the word “drone.” Drone strikes, Amazon delivery drone, the drone your boyfriend bought online and now he wants to show you all of the things he can do with it (photography, etc.). But one drone in England is working to change the drone narrative. Yes, one drone is using its drone capabilities for good. One wonderful drone has walked hand-in-hand with its brother sausage toward the light that is: saving a dog’s life.
According to a report from the Guardian, Millie, a Jack Russell Terrier, was stranded on dangerous mudflats after slipping her lead in Havant, Hampshire. The tide was rising and Millie had, until that point, evaded the help of police, firefighters, and coastguards. (I understand, Millie; I’m sure you were very stressed.) It was at that point that the drone pilot suggested something that might entice Millie to safety: attaching a piece of sausage to a string and dangling it from the drone.
“It was a crazy idea,” Chris Taylor, the chair of the Denmead Drone Search and Rescue team, told the Guardian. But after checking the maximum takeoff weight of their drone and Civil Aviation Authority regulations, they decided to pursue it. “One of the local residents on the beach where we were flying from supplied us with the sausages — I think they were from Aldi. The woman cooked them up for us and we attached them with string.”
I know you’re imagining a little dog chomping onto a sausage and being flown to safety by the drone, but this is not what happened and, yes, now that you think about it, that doesn’t make sense or seem at all safe. Instead Millie followed the sausage drone’s scent to higher ground. Once she reached higher ground, she once again ran away, and to be honest, “lol,” we have to laugh at and applaud Millie’s determination to be free.
Millie was finally reunited with her caretaker, Emma Oakes, after being spotted in a nearby marsh. At the moment of their reunion, she ran toward Oakes’s father and jumped into his arms.
“We certainly would consider using sausages again,” said Taylor. “Every dog and search operation is always going to be different, but if we were ever in a similar situation again we would employ the same methods to lure the dog.”
Thank you, sausage. Thank you, drone. And thank you, Millie. May you one day get to eat the sausage that is rightfully yours.