DOZENS of dog lovers turned up to Sandbanks beach to meet Paddington the Cockapoo who went missing on Boxing Day.

Beth Paine, owner of Paddington, arranged the meet and greet on Sunday, December 16, after an outpouring of support and help from the dog community when her pup was missing.

The chocolate Cockapoo was gone for eight days after he went missing on Boxing Day in Canford Heath.

Beth said: “It was strange to have him back, I really didn’t think he was coming back.

“It was great to have him back and my kids were over the moon - they kept asking for him.”

Bournemouth Echo: Holly Barnes with her Cockapoo Daisy-MayHolly Barnes with her Cockapoo Daisy-May

A Facebook group set-up by Beth’s sister to help find the seven-month-old pup was followed by nearly 10,000 people.

Beth said: “It was really overwhelming and it was so nice to see the community and people from all over England and there is one lady from New Zealand who’s also touched by the story.

“A lot of people were asking to meet him and when people were out searching for him they said it would be lovely to meet him once he’s been found.

“I also think for people who have Cockapoo’s in their family it means something to them as well.”

Invested in Paddington’s story, more than 50 people from across Dorset went to Sandbanks to meet the beloved pooch yesterday.

Bearwood nurse Holly Barnes, who looked for Paddington while walking her Cockapoo Daisy, said: “We followed the story and went looking for him. Because we’ve got a Cockapoo too we were really upset by it.

“I went out with my auntie looking for him and then we all went out on New Year’s Day as a big family to go out and find him.”

Bournemouth Echo: Dozens turned up to see PaddingtonDozens turned up to see Paddington

May and Michael Ingle also attended the meet-up with their dogs Jasper and Pippin. They said: “It’s really emotional, even now it still feels that way.

“He’d been gone such a long time it’s a miracle really and thankfully he turned up."

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Lynne Holloway from Bearwood went down to the beach to meet Paddington after being so concerned for his welfare she struggled to sleep.

“I was waking up in the middle of the night and looking at my phone to see if he’d been found,” she said.

“It was heartbreaking really because it’s such a vast area you just don’t know where he would have been.

“But it’s a lovely happy ending.”