As the world celebrated International Dog Day this week, the Echo looks back at some dog tales from the past.

In each of these cases the pretty pooches went missing from their family homes, bringing worry and distress to the owners.

But fear not, each of the furry friends were reunited with their loved ones once again!

Bruce – August 2, 2021

An owner sent a plea to the public to help find her dog which went missing in the New Forest for more than a day.

Jack Russel Bruce went missing at popular walking destination Deerleap.

He was spotted numerous times in and around the car park.

Lost dogs

However, his worried owner Sarah Cannon asked people who saw him to "please not approach as he is scared and may run away."

She added: "I have been astonished with the amount of help and kind words from so many people!"

Bruce was found safe and and well the following day.

Crumpet – June 2021

The Covell family were heartbroken when their three-month-old Jack Russell named Crumpet went missing from their back garden and, after spending weeks looking for her, gave up hope that they would ever see her again.

But completely out of the blue, 11 years later, the family were reunited with Crumpet after they received a phone call from a vet a 30-minute drive away.

Mrs Covell, from Buckland Newton, said: "I got a phone call from an emergency vets in Bournemouth to say that they had found my dog and my first thought was that one of my three terriers had managed to get out. Then when she said they had looked at the microchip and her name was Crumpet I couldn't believe it.

"I was on my bike at the time and I nearly fell off, I was so shocked. I had given up on hoping she would come back and thought she was lost forever. It's so lovely that she has come home."

Bournemouth Echo:

The original appeal taken for the Dorset Echo 11 years ago (left) with the grown-up reunited family (right)

The Covell family have no idea where their dog has been for more than a decade and never found out if she had escaped from their garden or been stolen.

Unfortunately, Crumpet suffers from a heart murmur and is completely deaf due to tumours in both of her ears.

Mrs Covell said: "It seems that someone might have taken her and then, when they thought she would be expensive with vet bills, just dumped her.

"We will spend the summer getting her back to health and taking care of her all together as a family. It is the most lovely thing that she has come home - she is such a sweetheart and seems so happy to be around us all, and the girls are thrilled that they get to spend time with her.

"It's such a shame that we have missed the best years of her life but hopefully we will have some more with her."

Arran – January 2020

When six-year-old bearded collie Arran went missing, there were various sightings in the days that followed.

Madeleine Fear and her friend camped overnight in Ringwood Forest in -6 degrees in the hope Arran would return to the car park he fled from, but to no avail.

Lost dogs

Arran bolted from his dog walker in Ringwood Forest has been found.

Madeleine and Arran's owner camped out for days in an attempt to entice Arran back.

Lost dogs

Madeleine exclaimed in a Facebook live video: “As soon as we saw him we got him.

“A woman on the Ringwood Road phoned me, he was in the back garden. We called him, went up to him and he just came right up to us.”


Dooley – April 2016

A dog was reunited his family after he went missing from his home for 13 days sparking a forest-wide hunt around Lymington.

Dooley, the plucky young puggle, was spooked while out with dog walkers after bolting two weeks previously.

The four-year-old’s absence forced his owners, Ben and Natalie Jesty, to embark on a military-style search-and-rescue for their beloved pet who was sorely missed by their children.

A Facebook group set up to encourage sightings not only gained 1,200 followers but saw residents out looking for Dooley even in the dead of night.

Lost dogs

Ben and Natalie took to the woodland after every reported sighting. On one occasion Natalie fell waist-deep into a slurry pit losing her car keys, and on another, Ben and some friends went searching, armed with torches and a lamb’s head in a bag which they hoped would attract their pet.

But during the course of the search they not only lost each other but came across another family walking in the Forest - forcing them to awkwardly explain the unusual bait.

Meanwhile Dooley, who had turned feral after a few days of being parted from his loving family, had trekked eight miles across the Forest, with sightings reported at The Pig in Brockenhurst, The Rising Sun at Tiptoe and The Filly Inn at Setley.

“He looks great for a dog that’s done Bear Grylls for 13 days,” Ben said, adding that their puggle had been on a pub crawl while they’d been endlessly searching for him.

“It’s been crazy - you couldn’t write this stuff. You realise how much they mean to you when they’re not there. We have spent 15 hours a day every day searching for him.”

Lost dogs

In the end it was two-year-old Jack and six-year-old Mia who helped to bring Dooley home, after experts warned that feral animals find adult voices threatening, forcing Ben and Natalie to urge people not to approach Dooley in case he was spooked again.

Natalie sat with Jack in a field in the hope Dooley would be there.

Ben said: “He started circling them then he just clicked and slowly came over.

"As hard as it was we took the experts’ advice and within 48 hours we had him back. Thank goodness.”

Lost dogs


Jack – November 2011

Jack, the black and white Patterdale Terrier, disappeared from a family farm in Ashington, near Wimborne, while his owner Karen Wood was in the farmhouse’s office.

But, the dog was returned home again a month after being taken and sold on for £100.

Karen said that the children were ‘over the moon’ to have had their dog back.

She said: “Thanks to the Echo and, we have had Jack returned.”

It seemed as though he had been stolen to order, as two weeks before he went missing, two men were at a nearby auction saying they had a good dog for sale.

She said: “He was then sold to a pre-arranged buyer in Tesco car park in Blandford.

“A man saw an advert for his return and rang saying that he believed that he had the dog.

Bournemouth Echo:

“Jack had also been taken to the vets and scanned for a microchip, where they realised that he had been stolen.

“Throughout this whole experience, I cannot believe that so many dogs do go missing and are probably stolen, and then people are buying them with no questions asked.

Taz – February 2006

A missing police dog whose disappearance sparked a search in the New Forest was reunited with his handler.

Taz ran off during an exercise session at Ocknell, just north of the A31 between Cadnam and Ringwood, with Hampshire's Dog Support Unit.

His handler and colleagues searched the area looking for the 19-month-old German shepherd.

Following a public appeal there were a number of sightings and Taz was found near Emery Down.

A spokesman said: "He was found by a member of the dog support unit none the worse for his lost 28 hours. We would like to thank all the people who called in - we wouldn't have been able to do it without you."