Great Britain

Widowed pensioner, 80, reunited with his missing dog Willow is 'best Christmas present' say family

An 80-year-old man from Preston was reunited with his missing dog after police, a teacher and a member of the public managed to chase her down.


Willow, an 8-year-old black Schnauzer Cocker Spaniel mix, was finally found yesterday (December 17) after she had gone missing for over 24 hours.

Willow went missing after she went missing from a back garden. (Credit: Giovanna AlessandraFalasca)

Willow went missing after she went missing from a back garden. (Credit: Giovanna AlessandraFalasca)

Her owner, Bernard Beattie, 80, had let her into the back garden at about 4.30pm on Monday (December 16).

When he returned, he discovered that he had accidentally left the back gate open and that she was missing.

Giovanna Alessandra Falasca, 26, Mr Beattie’s granddaughter, said he was devastated when he couldn’t find her.

Falasca said: “We’ve never seen grandad so upset.

“He had lost his best friend and company.”

Willow's family wrote a Facebook post asking for help which was shared over 1,000 times.

They also made posters which were put up with the help of local dog walkers, family and members of the public.

After numerous sightings around the Preston area, Willow was finally caught after a short chase down Garstang and St Vincents Road.

Police officers from the Neighbourhood Policing Team, a teacher from Corpus Christi High School and a member of the public managed to corner Willow after she ran into fields behind the high school.

After being taken to a local vet for identification, she was taken back home by police.

Willow was reportedly very muddy, tired and hungry, but was ready for plenty of cuddles after a warm shower.

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Falasca added: “When we opened the door Willow ran straight in and was really happy to see everyone.

“Grandad was smiling from ear to ear.

“On behalf of the family, and of course Grandad Beattie, we would like to say thank you to everyone who had seen the Facebook post and shared it, to the people who helped search for Willow, local postmen, vets and of course the police for reuniting willow with grandad.

“It’s the best Christmas present we could have asked for.”