Missing pooch returns home with prize from rescue dog competition

Pet beagle Bonnie proved anything is paw-sible when she escaped from the family home, only to return later that day with a rosette from a dog show.

The five-year-old cross left her family howling after vanishing from their house on Sunday morning.

Owners Peter and Paula Closier had no idea their beloved pooch had been picked up from the side of the road by dog-lover John Wilmer.

He was taking his own canines to a show when he spotted runaway Bonnie and issued a desperate Facebook search for her owners.

And once they’d been tracked down, he decided to enter her in the show – where she bagged a third place rosette.

Peter, 52, said: “When she was missing I had five different outcomes in my head, the best being that she came back.

“This was even better than that, she came back with a rosette.”

Bonnie disappeared at 11.45am on Sunday sparking a frantic search of the family house in Bolney, West Sussex, with their two daughters and their neighbours even joined in.

Paula, 48, had called the police, vets and dog warden in a frantic bid to find her.

The family’s fears were eased when Paula spotted a Facebook post by John asking for her owner to get in touch.

And once he knew the owners had been told, John decided to enter Bonnie into the competition in Felbridge, Surrey.

When Bonnie got back she just thought she had had a fun day out but “knows she shouldn’t have run out in the morning.”

Peter said: ”I was walking back to the kitchen when I saw the gate had swung and I thought, ‘Oh no’.

“All along she had been picked up by this guy who had seen her running along the side of the road.

“She had no collar on, we had taken it off the night before. He must have picked her up within about five minutes of her getting out.

“Our three hour search was totally fruitless.

“He was running late for the dog show and said on a Facebook page, ‘Does anyone know this dog?’

“My wife saw it a couple of hours later.

“She had been phoning everyone from the police to the vets and dog warden.

“As soon as he knew everything was going to be OK he thought, ‘I might as well enter her into the best rescue dog competition’.

“We couldn’t believe it. You could not make it up.

“Bonnie was absolutely fine when she got back. She just thought she was having a great day out.”

Bonnie was rescued from the streets of Crete alongside the family’s other pet, Cleo, when she was just one year old.

Cleo has won three rosettes at dog shows for Greek dogs but the couple, who are both dental technicians, had never entered Bonnie into any competitions.

Peter added: “We never pursued it with Bonnie. We should do now.”