IT’S a happy ending for Ronalie Frew after she was reunited with her two missing show dogs, Elle and Lily.
However, Ronalie is urging dog owners to be vigilant because she believes the two purebred females were stolen.
Rare and expensive, the Hungarian Vizslas – one a smooth coat and the other an imported wirehaired - had managed to escape from Ronalie’s dog-proof house yard early Wednesday morning and went swimming in the next door neighbour’s dam.
Realising they were missing, Ronalie said she called them, expecting them to return as they normally did after such a jaunt.
“I called and called… then I went and fixed the fence. I thought I heard barking from up at the gate, then I heard a car door slam and pull away.”
Ronalie thinks the dogs had been at the front gate – which is some distance from the house, when they were picked up.
“Our entrance is out of sight… there’s no reason for a car to be in my driveway.”
Ronalie’s partner Andrew Lyall-Watson scoured the surrounding area, calling the dogs for hours.
They contacted police, vets and their dog network. Then around 6.30pm on Thursday evening Andrew went outside to discover Lily collapsed on the path. He went out again later to check for Elle and found her whimpering in the dark.
The couple is convinced that somehow the dogs managed to escape from whoever had stolen them and find their way home.
“Both dogs were scared, in shock and could hardly walk but they were home,” a relieved Ronalie said.
“Elle was terrified… she’d clearly been beaten. There’s no doubt in my mind they’d been nabbed but somehow escaped, and Lily brought Elle home.”
Dog stealing is a growing problem.
“It happens a lot,” Ronalie said. “Small breeds are stolen and used for blooding.
“Dogs like staffies are used for sport (dog fighting).
“I’m so lucky to have them back.”