It looks like a clip from a "funniest video" show.

Main-street Kawakawa is in the frame, on a blustery, wet day. The traffic volume through town is low and slow.

Suddenly from the bottom left corner of the scene a bassett hound goes tearing off the footpath and on to the road. It's dragging behind it a flapping shop banner, the kind that sits on footpaths outside cafes and stores like sails.

The dog being chased by this terrifying thing attached to its lead is hellbent in getting away from it. But she can't, it keeps up with her.


Her name is Lilly, and she runs zigzagging down the main road. Cars and trucks stop.

People watch in amazement as a dog of a breed which looks like it might only move at snail's pace heads to the end of town at a cracking pace, the banner still hard on her heels.

A split second after the dog burst into the camera's view, her owner Lucie Green also comes rushing into the scene. About 50 metres behind, Green runs the same zigzag route as her dog, and she's screaming at the top of her lungs to traffic and pedestrians, ''Get out of the way!''

It lasts less than a minute but as the footage ends Lily the basset hound and her owner are still running a mile a minute, heading into the distance at the far end of Kawakawa.

The all-seeing camera also catches other people running out of shops and watching the palaver, some laughing their heads off, some trying to grab the panicking dog.

''She wasn't stopping for anybody. She was spooked, it was windy and that flag was making a horrible scraping noise as she ran, which made it even worse for her,'' Green said.

''I knew where she was headed, she was making a beeline for my office. I wasn't afraid of losing her, but I was terrified she might get hit by a car.''

As it turned out, Lily proved quite the traffic stopper.


The whole thing started, as most days start, with Green taking the 9-year-old rescue dog she's had for two months for a sausage from the local bakery.

That daily treat is part of their bonding routine. Then, Green goes to her office where Lily sleeps on her mat most of the day.

''That day I clipped her lead to the sign as I do every morning because it's right outside the window and she can see me inside,'' Green said.

But possibly the banner flapping or the wind in general unsettled Lily. Everyone agrees that once she became startled, the scraping noise of the banner's metal base caused her to take off.

Lily was ''absolutely fine'' with no sign of trauma or being worse for wear once Green caught up with her and freed her from the tormenting flag.

The dog ate her treat, and curled up nonchalantly on the office mat while Green trudged back to the bakery to return the flag and pay for the sausage.

That evening she told her partner, a computer technician, about the incident. He got to see the whole incident replayed a few days later while he was checking the town's security camera.

He had a laugh, and then tagged it to her social media where it went viral.
Green was at first mortified.

''I knew I was in trouble when I went to bed that night and saw a 100,000 people had already watched it. It's over half a million now.

''But it's out there, and I can see the funny side as well. I'm just relieved Lily wasn't hurt.''