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Last Updated: Sunday, 10 April, 2005, 17:58 GMT 18:58 UK
Strange 'tail' of the driving dog
Shep the dog
Shep: None the worse
A seven-year-old dog has been banned from driving after accidentally crashing his master's car.

Farmer Arnold Luscombe from South Milton, Devon, was driving in Kingsbridge when he was stopped by a flock of sheep.

He left Shep the collie in the car with the engine running and thinks he climbed into the driver's seat and knocked the car into gear with his paw.

The vehicle careered down a 40ft (12m) bank, coming to rest in a stream.

Shep was sitting behind the wheel quite unconcerned
Arnold Luscombe
Mr Luscombe told BBC News he turned round when he heard a noise, only to see the Saab disappearing over the bank at Kingsbridge in Devon, followed by a loud crash.

The farmer says he was relieved Shep appeared to be none the worse for his adventure.

"My first concern was for the dog, but when I got down to the stream, Shep was sitting behind the wheel quite unconcerned," said Mr Luscombe.

The key was still in the ignition and the doors had locked automatically, so Shep had to be taken out through the tailgate.

Mr Luscombe says Shep is now banned from the driving seat, and he will no longer leave the keys in the engine.

The car was winched back to dry land and has only a broken light and a few dents and scratches.

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