From rescue dog to hero hound
A former rescue dog from Dogs Trust has found and rescued a lost canine after he went missing while his Bristol-based owners were on holiday in Kent.
Five-year-old Smudge was adopted from Dogs Trust Canterbury in July 2016 by Gary and Mandy Jones. Mr Jones, from Deal, was walking Smudge on farmland in the area, when the Terrier Cross disappeared into a bush and remained still, as if he was trying to alert his owner to something.
Owner Gary explained:
“Smudge and I were walking on farmland outside Ripple, when he disappeared into bush – all I could see was his rear end sticking out and he wouldn’t budge! I walked off and called him but he didn’t come back, which is unusual for Smudge. I went to see what he was fixated on; it was such a sunny day, but I could just see a dark shadow in the bushes. Smudge stayed put and refused to move until I investigated further, which is when I saw a pink tongue and white teeth amongst the shadows!
“The figure turned out to be Teddy, a small, black Crossbreed. At first, I wondered if it was perhaps a farm dog from the area, hiding from Smudge and other dogs, but I checked the area and nothing seemed to suggest who owned him. I put Smudge back on his lead and checked the dog’s collar which had its owner’s phone number displayed. The poor boy was so shaken – he wouldn’t move from the bush, so I sat next to him feeding Smudge treats, and gradually gained Teddy’s trust after half an hour. He was very dirty, covered in shrubbery and appeared dehydrated. Clearly he was hungry from the way he devoured the treats.”
Gary contacted Teddy’s tearful owners and it transpired that the pooch had been missing for several days.
He continued: “I picked Teddy up and took him home while we waited for Teddy’s family to make the journey to come and collect him. I was really proud of Smudge for doing such a great job. When we first adopted him, his tough start in life meant that he needed support to boost his socialisation skills with dogs and new people. After about nine months of working hard with Smudge to improve his these skills and his recall training, we’re so chuffed with the lovely dog he’s become, and we can now confidently walk him off-lead as he’s great with four and two-legged friends alike.”
Teddy’s owner Diane Creaven from St. George, Bristol, had been holidaying in Kent with her canine companion – walking along the coast between Dover and Deal, over four miles away – when Teddy was spooked by two dogs and ran off. Diane shared that she was distraught when Teddy didn’t return and exhausted searching the area for her lost pet.
Diane’s daughter, Bridie Creaven, launched a Facebook campaign to find Teddy and displayed posters around the area, to no avail. After searching for Teddy for a number of days, they were devastated when they had to return home to Bristol without their beloved family member.
“We’re so relieved to have our Teddy back home after such a horrendous ordeal. The day he went missing, Teddy and I had planned a lengthy walk back to St. Margaret’s at Cliffe from Deal, when he was spooked by two dogs and bolted off. After assuming the worst, we were so shocked and immensely relieved when we received the phone call from Gary. Teddy was so happy to see us – he just ran around and around!
“The kindness and support of complete strangers in Deal completely blew me away. We had people printing off missing posters, which they replaced after it solidly rained for 24 hours! And kind-hearted strangers even went out searching for Teddy. Our Facebook campaign saw 800 members join and posts were shared countless times. We can’t thank the dog community enough. Teddy thanked his doggy rescuer, Smudge, by sending him some personalised tasty treats!”
“Smudge’s Facebook fans have even sent him treats as a reward for his efforts. Quite the social media celebrity, someone even suggested that he is nominated to turn on the Christmas lights in our town! We believe a dog is for life and as our first rescue dog, Smudge has enriched our lives in so many ways. We would encourage anyone considering a rescue dog to go for it. It’s a wonderful and rewarding experience!”
For more information on Dogs Trust Canterbury and its lodgers currently looking for ‘fur-ever’ homes, please contact the rehoming centre on 0300 303 0292.
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