SHE might be small and fluffy, but Sophie the super spaniel has proven it's the size of the fight, not the dog, that matters.
The maltese/cocker spaniel cross went missing with her puppy and another dog from her family's property 22km south of Chinchilla on Christmas Eve.
With the region in flood, Sophie's family held little hope of finding the 3½-year-old.
But 10 months later, she has miraculously returned home.
Sophie's owner Carol Mulligan said the family pet was found by pipeline workers about 1km from where she went missing.
She was discovered huddled beside her dead puppy in the shade of a tree.
The fate of the other dog remains unknown.
"She was refusing to leave her puppy's side," Mrs Mulligan said.
"If the puppy hadn't died, I'm sure she would have made it all the way home."
Mrs Mulligan said considering the good health Sophie was in, it appeared someone had been caring for her while she was missing.
"It's a mystery where she's been all this time," she said.
Thirteen-year-old Stacie Mulligan said she was thrilled to have Sophie back.
"I used to walk with her to school, and I was very sad when she went missing.
"But I kept my hopes up. I told mum we'd find her."
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